Friday, August 12, 2011

The Hardest Thing to Do Review

On Wednesday I posted about the book I'm reviewing below. Make sure to check it out for info about the author and the opportunity to read the first chapter. Go here.

The Hardest Thing to Do (Hawk and the Dove)The Hardest Thing to Do by Penelope Wilcock is the long awaited follow up to the Hawk and the Dove trilogy. This book is nearly impossible to classify in a genre. It's not a true mystery, certainly not a romance, and it's not a thriller. Yet this novel is a read with tremendous power. Brother John is becoming Father John and taking over for the beloved Father Peregrine as abbot of St Alcuin's monastery. He is nervous about the new responsibilities, but his burden becomes much heavier when an old enemy, Father William, seeks refuge after his monastery was burned by vengeful villagers in retaliation for the monks ruthless power and money-seeking. Brother Thomas has reason to hate William and stirs up the feelings of the other brothers against the man, until a shocking act changes everything. Wilcock's writing is never sensational or over-the-top. This is a story about men who call themselves Christians trying to deal with the hardest thing Christ asks us to do: forgive and show mercy. How that decision weighs on the various men at St Alcuin's is as the heart of this story, and how they will be changed by their choices. The story has much to say to us today and raises questions that are still not easily answered. I hadn't read the Hawk and the Dove trilogy prior to this, but I will certainly seek them out after reading this thought-provoking story.