Title: The Breath of Peace (The Hawk & the Dove #7)
Author: Penelope Wilcock
Publisher: Lion Fiction
My rating is 4 stars.
This seventh book in The Hawk and the Dove Series finds William de Bulmer as a husband to Madeleine for a little over a year. Their married life started out wonderful, but now they seem to squabble all the time and they are both tired of it. William thinks he is a failure as a husband as he can’t seem to do anything right, but spending thirty years as a monk has hardly prepared him for life outside the monastery. Madeleine seems to find fault with everything he does and isn’t shy about telling him so!
Abbot John, Madeleine’s brother, is in a quandary. His cellarer has died and he has no one to fill the position. William was in training for the same when he was a monk, but after he left the monastery to marry Madeleine no one took his place as assistant. So Abbot John contacts William to see if he can bring their account books up to date and check on the status of all things financial for the monastery and train a replacement. Oh and by the way did William have any ideas on who might fill the position? William is grateful for the respite away from Madeleine, whom he still deeply loves, but can’t seem to find a peaceful way to live with. Upon William’s return home, Madeleine makes her own journey to see her brother, seeking marital counsel.
A beautiful picture of marital life is explained by Abbot John using scripture. That was my favorite part of the book. I also liked how transparent William has become, even though he doesn’t like it. What a change from when readers first met him! I would have liked to have spent more time with the familiar monks at the monastery than this story did, but that is just a personal preference. Abbot John is growing in his role as leader of this quiet community that inspires peace in both Madeleine and William. His advice and spiritual insight is spot on in the story. I’m looking forward to book eight, so stay tuned for more of the monastic life at St. Alcuin’s!
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