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The Hardest Thing To Do
The Hawk and the Dove Book Four
by Penelope Wilcox
Publisher:Crossway Books from IVP
Abbot ‘Peregrine’ is dead and Br John, the infirmarian who succeeded Br Edward, is returning to the Abbey to take over as Abbot. He has been away at Cambridge studying in preparation for his new job and becoming a priest as is fitting for the position he has been voted into by his fellow monks.
We met Br John in The Hawk and the Dove Trilogy and his slow journey back north shows us again what type of man he is. Once instituted as Abbot he faces with trepidation and humility all the extra duties of Easter, the special ceremonies of the season and the extra guests who come to celebrate with the monks.
He calls upon familiar figures to help him, monks we have met in the previous books, but a new character comes to the abbey and disturbs all their peace. He is the prior of St Dunstan’s, the Augustinian house near Chesterfield, recently burnt to the ground by those around who had suffered cruelly at the hands of this man. (We met him in The Wounds of God and had a taste of how spiteful and hateful he could be) What are the monks to do?
Following the pattern of the previous books, each chapter tells a tale of individual monks, but the theme throughout is what is to become of their unwelcome guest. Another absorbing read with a strong message of Christian forgiveness sometimes so very difficult to do.
Reviewer: Mary Bartholomew (07/09/12)