Sunday, July 3, 2011

Book Review: The Hawk and the Dove

Love has no defenses. You only know it's love when it hurts. ~Father Peregrine in The Hawk and the Dove Trilogy

I have just finished The Hawk and the Dove Trilogy...tearfully and I am still weeping as I write this. I am ashamed to say took me twelve weeks to read the entire trilogy because of other things more pressing in my life. Having read Penelope's blog, Kindred of the Quiet Way, for some months, I can say that her stories of the monastery brotherhood have that same delicate precision in cutting to expose one's heart and sincerely test one's faith in God as I hoped and yet I still was surprised at how graciously this deed was done.

In the first two books, the monastic stories were being recounted from a mother to her child of their ancestor, who lived as one of the brothers. I have to hand it to Penelope in that she chose to write about a Benedictine abbey and how she did it. Being a woman, I honestly did not think I could relate to the setting, but there I was, right there amongst avowed men. Perhaps, these books served their purpose in drawing me in with the female element. Each chapter was a story complete in itself, which may account why I could put the book down for some days after finishing a chapter.

The third book, however, was written with more fluidity. I am not sure if I just like the style of the third better or if it was because of how the first two were written that I enjoyed the difference in the third more, but it was the third book that gripped me so that I could barely part from it. Still, without reading the first two, it certainly would have had less impact because it is in those that the reader becomes acquainted so well with the characters.

Penelope's writing is very well balanced. Well-worded descriptions of the settings and characters paint the imagination quite well, yet are more sparse when unnecessary to the occasion. It is the true-to-life humanity of her characters that will forever haunt me: the humility of Father Peregrine, the servitude of Brother Tom as his personal assistant, and their friendship, in particular.

I did not refer to any reviews of the book before I read it and I will not be giving any spoilers here, because I think the surprise of heart-wrenching and heart-warming events should be experienced in that unique intimacy between a reader and a book...and, yes, I do recommend reading this one very highly.

~ My Lord, please bless Penelope Wilcock and her amazing gift of writing, which she has chosen to use to honor You. ~

1 comment:

Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.