The Hardest Thing To Do

Title:  The Hardest Thing to Do (The Hawk & The Dove Volume 4)
Author:  Penelope Wilcock
Pages:  256
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Lion Fiction
The brothers of St. Alcuin’s are back in this fourth book, preparing for the new abbot’s return.  Brother John is now the Abbot and has returned after a year’s training in Cambridge to take up the position of leader of St. Alcuin’s.  He doesn’t feel up to the task of filling Father Peregrine’s shoes.  As he begins his service, he is overwhelmed with the details and never-ending duties of his office.  He still has the heart of a healer and sometimes wonders if he has made the right decision is becoming abbot.
In addition to all his new responsibilities, an enemy of Father Peregrine’s shows up at the doorstep of the monastery seeking admittance.  This throws the brotherhood into division as to how to proceed with this newcomer in their midst.  Some want to refuse him admittance while others plead to show mercy and the love of Christ to him.  Can the brothers come to a uniform decision or will this be a splinter that continues to fester until the infection spreads unchecked.
I would recommend reading the series in order from the beginning before reading this fourth book.  I have enjoyed this series tremendously.  The writing evokes emotions and touches the heart.  I can’t imagine having less in common with monks in medieval England, but their emotional and spiritual struggles ring true to me in this day and age.  The author writes with great depth and has researched well her topic.  I feel as if I’m right there in the monastery with the monks, living life with them daily.  Readers will see humor in some characters, legalism in some and great compassion and mercy by showing the love of Christ in others.  This series is definitely on my “keeper” shelf and I hope it will be on your shelf as well!
My rating is 5 stars.

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