stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
[personal profile] stapsreads
Young man with plague comes to abbey for medical assistance, gets bashed on head. A medieval murder mystery in the Cadfael tradition, though not nearly so convincing as Peters' work. I never quite felt that Clare had really got into the medieval mindset. There was nothing that I could put my finger on as being factually wrong (though I have serious doubts about monks and nuns living practically together under the rule of an Abbess, but I'm willing to be corrected on that), and it seems excessively nitpicky to criticise the modern use of modern words ('preview'; 'coma', etc) when nobody would be speaking English as we know it anyway, but it just didn't gel.

Another, more personal (by which I mean that other readers may not care at all), issue was the mixing of genres, or, rather, the way that the supernatural is unquestioningly accepted by the omniscient narrator. This was something I always thought Peters did rather well, finding room for faith and doubt to dwell together, without denigrating the one or demolishing the other. While the supernatural plot doesn't have much to do with the mystery, it sat ill with me.

The mystery itself was reasonably interesting, though the reader was never allowed to do any work.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6860565

Date: 2012-08-30 01:13 pm (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
I have serious doubts about monks and nuns living practically together under the rule of an Abbess

Depends on the date. There were double monasteries under the rule of abbesses in Gaul and Anglo-Saxon England, but there was strict segregation, although they would worship in the same chapel and of course the priests would celebrate Mass for the whole community (which was the justification for the double community - it meant the nuns had priests on tap). But Rome never liked them and they certainly didn't survive the Norman Conquest.

Date: 2012-09-03 02:41 pm (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Oh dear. Epic research fail.

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