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The Hawk and the Dove Trilogy
Special 20th Anniversary Edition
by Penelope Wilcox
Publisher:Crossway Books from IVP
Originally published in separate books, The Hawk and the Dove in 1990, The Wounds of God in 1991,and The Long Fall in 1992
Definitely historical, not so sure of the mystery and suspense of the category, but it is the best place for it that we have.
The three books together, a very satisfying 551 pages, tell the story of the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of St Alcuin on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, , back in the early fourteenth century.
In the first two books, the modern day descendant of the Melissa who appears in the stories tells these stories to her daughter Melissa. Stories that have been handed down through the female line for many generations but remain as fresh and absorbing as ever. In the third book the storytelling is as Uncle Edward told them to his niece, the first Melissa. He was infirmarian at the Abbey till he got too old to work and instead was cared for with the other old monks. It is his stories in all three books that tell of the daily lives of the different monks: of Uncle Edwards nephew the Abbot, Peregrine, correct religious name Columba, the dove, but his baptismal name suits him best and he is known by that to the monks of his Abbey. His story is particularly harrowing and the result of what happened to him colours all the rest of these three books. The monks are all individuals with their own trials and tribulations and we come to know many of them well and watch as they mature in their religious lives. It is not all sweetness and prayerful devotion. These are men with strong emotions and failings like the rest of us and their individual stories, a chapter at a time, are a glimpse of what it must have been like to take vows of Holy poverty and chastity back then.
This book and the sequels will remain on my shelf to be read and re-read in the years to come.
Reviewer: Mary Bartholomew (07/09/12)