Friday, July 10, 2015

The Oblate's Confession, by William Peak

Read and reviewed in November, 2014. Released later

I found this a very interesting although slow moving narrative. I am learning about the Roman Catholic Church in medieval times, as I am looking up words and concepts unfamiliar to me. Winwaed was given by his father to the monastery at Redestone as a young child, as a fulfillment of a pledge, a vow made to God. He grows up in the silent monastery, learning the ways of the monks, and is befriended by a hermit who lives nearby and who teaches him about spirituality, praying, and living in the woods.

A beautifully written, descriptive book. I felt like I was there, in the monastery, climbing the mountain, and in the woods with Winwaed and Father Gwynnedd. Written from the perspective of an older man recalling his early years, the narrative seemed to skip the parts that led up to the need for his confession at a later time. He had already confessed to Father Gwynnedd, although Gwynnedd's advanced age and senility prevented him from fully participating in the hearing of it and the absolution of it. The reader is left wondering how the monastery had changed after the second plague and what Winwaed's life was like in his adult years.
I received this Advanced Reader's copy from the publisher as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers, in exchange for an honest review.

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