The Hawk & the Dove Series / by Penelope Wilcock. 12.18.2015

The Hawk and the Dove / by Penelope Wilcock. (The Hawk & the Dove, 1)

Lion Fiction ISBN 9781782641391

The Wounds of God / by Penelope Wilcock. (The Hawk & the Dove, 2)

Lion Fiction ISBN 9781782641414

The Long Fall / by Penelope Wilcock. (The Hawk & the Dove, 3)

Lion Fiction ISBN 9781782641438

Adult Rating: 5

In The Hawk and the Dove, Father Peregrine is appointed Abbot of St. Alcuin’s Benedictine abbey when his gentle, easy-going predecessor, Father Gregory, passes away. Peregrine is a difficult man, one who is respected but not loved. An incident from his past resurrects itself, and he is violently attacked. He is nursed back to health, but remains badly crippled. The community of monks must come together to care for their now vulnerable leader.

In The Wounds of God, calculating, self-absorbed Prior William from the Augustinian Priory of St. Dunstan is determined to humiliate Father Peregrine any way he can. He challenges Father Peregrine to debate a matter of justice masked as doctrine, and Peregrine must overcome his physical limitations to make the arduous three-day journey to arrive in time for the proceedings.

Further incapacitated in The Long Fall, Peregrine begins a difficult recovery with the help of his brothers in the infirmary. Dejected by the perceived hopelessness of the situation, Brother Tom, the young monk closest to Peregrine, pulls away from him. Through a series of events, Tom finds the courage to stay alongside his vulnerable leader.

The Hawk and the Dove and The Wounds of God are written as stories within a story. A descendent of Father Peregrine, the narrator is a young woman who presses her mother to share tales passed down through the generations about their venerable ancestor and his monastic brothers. Each chapter reads as a stand-alone short story. The narrator is not present in The Long Fall, and the book reads as a novel.

Author Penelope Wilcock has done her research to provide an accurate portrayal of life within an abbey six hundred years ago in these character-driven stories. A glossary, liturgical calendar, and outline of the monastic day are included to aid the reader’s understanding of the time and place. Teens may enjoy these books, but because of the inclusion of topics such as pre-marital sex, death, and serious illness, they might best be read with discussion in mind.

Linda Matchett, CLJ