Brother Cadfael's Penance
Book Reviews - Faith - Family

A Story About a Father’s Love

Edith Pargeter (pen name is Ellis Peters) wrote a series of mysteries that look back on the history of England. The novels are set during the period of civil war, 1135 to 1154. King Steven was being challenged by Empress Maud for the throne.

The main character, Brother Cadfael, is a monk at the Benedictine Abbey of Shrewsbury. He tends a herb garden and gets involved in detective work with the sheriff. 

In the 20th book in the series, we learn that Cadfael is a father but has been separated from his son most of his life. 

 In this final book in the series, Brother Cadfael’s Penance, Cadfael is on a mission to rescue his son. His mission is complicated by the political situation.

Throughout the narrative there is a pattern of prayers, community, obedience and then respectful disobedience. Cadfael is challenged to maintain neutrality between the nobility supporting King Steven and those supporting Empress Maud.

The description of the contest for power and the use of deceit reminds me of the current day. If we look back on history, human nature has not changed. 

Cadfael’s love for his son keeps him focused.

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Carol is a follower of Jesus and a wife, mom & grandma. She worked for many years as a childbirth nurse and prenatal educator. She recently retired from clinical work. She has written articles for nursing journals and devotionals. Her novel, Aliisa's Letter, was published in 2010 and she is currently working on another project.

3 Comments on “A Story About a Father’s Love

  1. Sounds like an interesting book. I wrote about Fathers during the week of Father’s Day as well. My biological dad was absent from my life for a while when I was younger. He eventually came back into my life and I was thankful to know him and be known by him.

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