Monday, May 30, 2016

The Breath of Peace (Hawk and the Dove series #7) By Penelope Wilcock

ISBN 9781782641735
 $14.99 | Lion Fiction

About the book: William and Madeleine are deeply in love--but love may not be enough to win the day

Madeleine Hazell and William de Bulmer have been married a year. She is a healer, a wise woman, practical, intelligent, and blunt. He is not only an ex-monk, but an ex-abbot, a man accustomed to authority, a gifted administrator, at home with figures--but less capable in matters such as shutting up chickens for the night.

They are deeply, irrevocably in love. And every conversation may become a battlefield that leaves both of them wounded and resentful.

When William's former abbey, St. Alcuins, suffers the loss of their cellarer, the current Abbot Father John doesn't know how to handle the rents and provisions. He is a gifted physician and a capable leader, but estate management is beyond his competence. With a sense of rising panic he turns to his friend, the man who renounced his vows for love, the former Father William—only to find that his own pastoral skills may be required in matters matrimonial.

The Breath of Peace is the seventh novel in The Hawk and the Dove series and explores themes of mutual submission found in Ephesians 5:21–33.

My thoughts: This is a short book of around 200 pages but it is not a short read. At times it seemed as though I was sloughing through wondering if I would ever get to the end or the meat of the story.

I found Penelope Wilcock an interesting read and certainly gifted in speaking to the issue of scripturally based peace and mutual submission.

The story began - this is set during medieval times - with William and Madeleine married and eaking out a living on their homestead. Though they had an inheritance, life was hard and the loss of 4 of their 6 hens was a real issue. There was strident friction between them and I saw it mostly as caused by Madeleine. However, William has a dark side that rears its head in response.

After 30 years cloistered as a monk, William forsook his vows and wed Madeleine. Marrying late in life is hard under the best of circumstances and adjustments from a life of cloistered quiet and peace to wedded companionship certainly was difficult for William and Madeleine as well.

Being called to help the Abby set accounts right and lend guidance to selection of a new monk to care for the accounts, William went to the Abby. While there, he met with the head monk which is the Abbot and who is also the brother of Madeleine. Counsel and prayer resulted in William discovering a "breath of peace" that can and should exist in their married life.

I can recommend the book but caution that it is a somewhat slow read.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated.

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