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The Pilgrim of Hate

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Pilgrim of Hate (1984) Ellis Peters

Set in England in 1141

It’s been four years since the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul brought the bones of Saint Winifred (or so they thought) to Shrewsbury, and the abbey is holding a festival for her, with pilgrims coming to pray for miracles.

While to the south, the turmoil between King Stephen and Empress Maud has spread, causing violence and fighting and murder as the various vassals vacillate.

Here in book 10 we get a brief revisiting of the events in the first book, but plenty of new mystery. And of course Cadfael.

“Then your only resort is confession and penance,” said Hugh lightly.

“Not until Brother Mark is full-fledged a priest!” … “I’m saving for him,” said Cadfael, “all those sins I feel, perhaps mistakenly, to be no sins.”

All those sins I feel to be no sins.

That passage tells you everything about Cadfael–and his faith.

(P)eople are endlessly mysterious, and I am endlessly curious. A sin to be confessed, no doubt, and well worth a penance.

I think what gets me in these books are the little bits that come in passing, almost throw away lines, except that they make the secondary characters real and true.

Brother Anselm, thoughtfully revolving the syllables of the name, and tapping the resultant rhythm on the stone of the bench on which he sat, repeated to himself softly: “Rainald Bossard, Rainald Bossard…”

That is such a lovely passage.

There was, after all, a great deal of human happiness in the world, even a world so torn and mangled with conflict, cruelty and greed. So it had always been, and always would be.

As always the mystery is good, the solution unexpected, and no one is quite evil or irredeemable.

I do enjoy these stories.

Publisher: MysteriousPress
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, Mystery, Re-Read     Comments (0)    



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