The Beautiful Thread (The Hawk & the Dove #8)

Title:  The Beautiful Thread (The Hawk & the Dove #8)

Author:  Penelope Wilcock

Pages:  208

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Lion Fiction

My rating is 4 stars.

The focus on this eighth book in this series is again William du Bulmer and Abbot John.  This time, however, the drama is not on William’s love life, but Abbot John’s.  St. Alcuin’s is to host a big wedding.  As a result, Father Conradus, who is in charge of the kitchen, needs extra help with all the food preparations.  It is suggested that he notify his mother to have her come and help.  This being done, she agrees and soon arrives at St. Alcuin’s.  Abbot John immediately feels comfortable in her presence and wants to spend more time with her under the guise of showing her around the monastery and other excuses.  Some of the other monks immediately notice the change in their abbot’s attitude toward this woman.  Will St. Alcuin’s lose another man to a woman?

The other situation going on in the story is a visit from one of the higher ups in the monastic hierarchy.  His visit happens to coincide with all the wedding plans and incoming guests, so tension is running high among the monks as they try to get everything ready for both events.  Bishop Eric inspects St. Alcuin’s property, grills the novitiates and applauds the food from the kitchen.  Then he hears from his assistant that William de Bulmer has been seen at St. Alcuin’s.  Bishop Eric now is on a manhunt for William to bring charges against him, excommunicate him and then execute him!  Can William escape the noose a second time?

As always, this book portrays these monks with great care in their vulnerability, transparency and humanness.  They strive to be Christ like, but sometimes fail just like us.  They ask for forgiveness, try to do better and sometimes succeed just like us.  I really liked the idea of the beautiful thread revealed in this story; it really hit home what I can do to be more like Christ in my treatment of others.  I am so looking forward to the final book in the series, A Day and a Life, due to be released in September 2016 to see what the monks are up to next!

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