by Sherry Jones
Find out more about this book and author:
Just released: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Gallery Books
Genre: historical, biographical, literary fiction
Paperback: 384 pages
“To forbid the fruit only sweetens its flavor”
Among the young women of 12th century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God.
But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Nôtre Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks, he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition.
Sherry Jones weaves the lovers’ own words into an evocative account of desire and sacrifice. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love is a poignant, tender tribute to one of history’s greatest romances, and to love’s power to transform and endure.
This was my introduction to the star-crossed love story of Heloise d'Argenteuil and Pierre Abelard (aka the original Romeo and Juliet). I had not heard of this 12th century french couple before so I was in for some frustrating moments.
I had mixed feelings about the story throughout the whole reading. The couple's love and passion for each other were in abundance - evident in some steamy scenes. But, the social norms that the couple had to endure during their life conflicted in regards to their relationship which bugged me at times.
Got me thinking of how far women have come these days when it comes to economic independence.
However, I did have a nice a-ha moment at the end which made me come around to a better understanding of the couple and the dynamic between them.
I loved how the chapter headers incorporated original text from the letters Heloise and Abelard wrote to each other. The feelings and emotions are expressed so well from the brief passages.
Sherry Jones is also the author of Four Sisters, All Queens; The Sword of Medina; and her controversial, internationally bestselling debut, The Jewel of Medina. She lives in Spokane, Washington.
Special note from author:
Those love letters, by the way, are largely new -- newly discovered and published as Abelard and Heloise's "lost love letters."
I'm offering an ebook of the earliest of those letters, with artworks depicting this famous couple over the ages, to those who subscribe to my newsletter at http://www.authorsherryjones.com/swag. You can also read the prologue and first chapter of this novel there, for free.
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* added this to my Bookish Bingo challenge - square: Romance
* review copy courtesy of book tour - check out the other stops here for more details on this book and goodies sponsored by France Book Tours.