The Hardest Thing To Do by Penelope Wilcock

One thing that is very hard to do is jump into a series that has three books ahead of the one you are about to read. I never had the opportunity to read the first trilogy, I am not Catholic, and there are numerous characters that have apparently already been developed so there is really no lead in for them. You are just popped into the story knowing names of the Brothers, and that this is one year later from the first three books.

I'll let you read what the book is about in the last paragraph.

You do need to read at least one of the first three to understand sooner what is going on at the Abby. However, Brother Thomas is having a bad day in the first paragraph, and his thoughts are quite humorous because they run down the same vein as mine do when I am having a bad day with people I don't have a whole lot of respect for. It really doesn't take long to get drawn into the story.

I am so familiar with story lines that hop back and forth between two or three places and giving you gallons of back story, filled with so many characters that your head is spinning from trying to remember them all and this story is no exception. It is a personal peeve of mine, so read around the groans, please. Wilcock does an excellent job of raising certain questions then leaving them there to ponder while the story moves along. Such as one can have compassion for those one doesn't know intimately, but just when does compassion dissipate leaving the "good riddance" grim smile on one's face when something catastrophic happens? Do we judge even while we say we do not?

Wilcock raises some very good questions that will have you pondering even after the last page is read.

3 out of 5 stars

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Hardest Thing
Crossway Books (July 31, 2011)
Penelope Wilcock


PENELOPE WILCOCK is a full-time author living in Hastings, Sussex, on the southeast coast of England. Her blog, Kindred of the Quiet Way, is about a simple and spiritual Christian lifestyle. Her other books in The Hawk and the Dove series are The Hawk and the Dove, The Wounds of God, and The Long Fall.


This latest in Wilcock’s The Hawk and the Dove series takes readers into the world of a fourteenth-century monastery struggling to forgive an old enemy seeking refuge.

The first of three sequels to the celebrated The Hawk and the Dove trilogy takes place one year after the end of the third book, in the early fourteenth century. A peaceful monastery is enjoying its new abbot, who is taking the place of Father Peregrine, when an old enemy arrives seeking refuge. Reluctantly taking in Prior William, the upended community must address old fears and bitterness while warily seeking reconciliation. But can they really trust Prior William?

In her fourth book in the series, Penelope Wilcock wrestles with the difficulties of forgiveness and the cautions of building trust. Taking the form of journal entries, her story will delight the imaginations of readers captivated by a time and place far distant from our current world. Her timeless themes, however, will challenge our prejudices today as we, along with her characters, are forced to ask ourselves, “What is the hardest thing to do?”

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Hardest Thing, go HERE.

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