Title: The Hour Before Dawn (The Hawk and the Dove #5)
Author: Penelope Wilcock
Publisher: Lion Hudson
My rating is 5 stars.
Readers are once again returned to the 14th century monastery of St. Alcuin’s in Yorkshire, England in this fifth entry of The Hawk and the Dove series. Most of the characters from the prior four books make return appearances, but the story centers around Abbot John and Father William.
Abbot John has just been in his position as head of St. Alcuin’s for about a month when he receives devastating news that his mother has been murdered and his sister gang-raped. These women lived together and were thought by some to be witches, but they were really healers and midwives. The abbot is devastated by this news and is numb with shock. He travels to see his sister with Father William as a companion. His sister blames what happened on Abbot John for not being home to protect her and their mother. The abbot struggles with an all-consuming guilt, Father William consoles, cajoles and finally sternly counsels the abbot.
As readers we follow the developing relationship between Father William and Abbot John as well as the abbot’s sister toward both of these men. Also, along the way one of Father William’s monks from his former priory is found horribly disfigured. Again, Abbot John takes on more guilt at not helping this monk the first time they met (in book four of the series). Father William again must pull him from the black hole of despair. Readers will also see Abbot John begin to gain assurance in his role as leader of the monastery. He returns the favor of counseling when William is struggling with an issue.
Just as an FYI, I think this series should be read in order as the story continues from one book to the next. The spiritual insight and truths shared are wonderful. The author writes with great insight into human emotions and how Christ would have us live our lives. The relationship between the monks shows mercy, compassion, jealousy, sadness, love and many other emotions we all experience. Above all, readers see the monks trying their best to live life as Christ like examples. I can’t wait to read book six titled, Remember Me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: The above is my opinion. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”