Further incidents from a 14th century monastery

The Wounds of God

No. 2 in the Hawk and the Dove Series

This book follows the same pattern as the first in the series. Everyday life in a family of seven can be fun, even though it involves a constant struggle to make ends meet.

The devoted mother picks opportunities to entertain her starry-eyed, fifteen-year-old daughter with legends of their ancestor, Father Peregrine. Many centuries earlier, he was the rather bizarre abbot of a Yorkshire monastery. The bumbling antics of his protégés, together with musings on the nature and will of God, paint a vivid picture.

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Healing of the soul

The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock

The Hawk and the Dove (The Hawk and the Dove Series Book 1) by [Penelope Wilcock]
5 Stars

If I say this book is about penitence, you wouldn’t read it. It gets worse: it’s about experiencing a brutal assault as a divine blessing.

In fact, it’s a delightful, heart-warming glimpse of 14th century monastic life. Over many generations, grandmothers have passed these anecdotes down to their granddaughters. They relate both humorous incidents and deep lessons of faith in a loving God.

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Ein Beziehungsgeflecht

Die Unschärfe der Welt – von Iris Wolff

Eindrücke vom Buch

5 Stars
Cover: https://exlibris.azureedge.net/covers/9783/6089/8486/6/9783608984866xl.webp

“Die Unschärfe der Welt” ist eine sorgfältig konstruierte Erzählung über das Leben verschiedener, miteinander verflochtenen Persönlichkeiten aus mehreren Generationen einer deutschen Familie in Rumänien. Sie beginnt zur Zeit des Kommunismus und dauert bis nach dem Sturz von Ceaușescu.

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Roman history through the eyes of a patrician family

Dominus by Steven Saylor

Dominus: An epic saga of Rome, from the height of its glory to its destruction Kindle Edition

Starting in 165 AD, multiple generations of the legendary Pinarius family of sculptors lead us through 160 years of otherwise rather obscure Roman history. We follow the often very brief reigns of some thirty emperors – often called Dominus. We learn of their military exploits, family rivalries and sexual perversions. But we also become aware of a growing religious tension.

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Torn apart for their faith

Dramatic events following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes

The Huguenot Chronicles
5 Stars

France, 1685. Louis XIV has brazenly revoked his grandfather Henry IV’s treaty, which had granted Protestants substantial residential and religious rights. Now the King is determined to unite the nation in one Church – by force, if necessary. A period of persecution of Huguenots commences.

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Torn between two lives

Being Lena Levi by Bobbie Ann Cole

Being Lena Levi

Is she Marlene or Lena? For a fourteen-year-old English schoolgirl to discover ‘Mum’ is not her real mother and by birth she is a German Jewess is a life-shattering revelation. And who is the real ‘Mutti‘ is behind her glamorous but rather worldly façade; she’s quite a contrast to the Christian circles Marlene had grown up in. But how could Mum deceive her so cruelly?

Marlene decides on the spur of the moment to experiment with being Lena. She travels with Mutti by train and ship – how exciting! – to Haifa in Israel, and is introduced to the young Jewish nation’s struggle to survive in a hostile and rather neglected environment. On the way, a brief conversation with a sympathetic old man exposes her burning dilemma.

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Dramatic tension as the storm brews

Before The Storm 1685 by Paul C. R. Monk – an object lesson in creative historical fiction writing

This free novella covers the same dramatic events as my work-in-progress, Gédéon. In my opinion, Paul C. R. Monk has not only written a captivating prequel to his trilogy, The Huguenot Chronicles but presents a masterpiece in regard to character, location setting and atmosphere.

These short chapters contain invaluable examples of how to draw a reader inexorably into the depicted scene, reveal the contrasting temperaments of the protagonists, and conjure a vivid feel for the horrendous experience of having one’s home commandeered by unscrupulous dragoons.

I’d like to quote some passages – narratives as well as dialogues – to illustrate these points.

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International intrigues at the highest levels

Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett

International intrigues at the highest levels
Four stars

Edge of Eternity – the final book of Follett’s perspective-shattering Century Trilogy – traces the vibrant lives of the offspring of the British, Russian, German and American families that we got to know in Fall of Giants and Winter of the World. Relationships come and go and fates fluctuate, revealing international intrigues at the highest levels. A salutary feature of the narrative is how most world leaders are revealed as dishonest, weak and morally corrupt puppets of various political and economic factions.

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Ein einzigartiges Familiendrama

Der Duft von bitteren Orangen, von Claire Hajaj

5 Stars

Wer Eltern hatte oder selber eine Familie, der weiss, dass es früher oder später zu Meinungsdifferenzen, Spannungen oder sogar Konflikte innerhalb der Familie kommen kann. Wie, aber, wenn sprachliche, religiöse, kulturelle und vor allem ethnische Faktoren mitspielen? Oder kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen zwischen den Herkunftsvölkern?

“Unsere Familien werden niemals akzeptieren, dass wir zusammen sind.”

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