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Madeleine Hazell and William de Bulmer have been married a year. She is a healer, a wise woman, practical, intelligent and blunt. He is not only an ex-monk, but an ex-abbot, accustomed to authority, administration, and figures - but less capable in such matters as shutting up chickens for the night. They are deeply, irrevocably in love. And every conversation may become a battlefield that leaves both wounded and resentful. Meanwhile at nearby St Alcuin's Abbey, the aged monk who served as cellarer has died, and Abbot John finds himself critically short-handed. Who will handle the rents? The provisions? With a sense of rising panic Abbot John turns to his friend William, the man who renounced his vows for love - only to find that John's own pastoral skills may be required in matters matrimonial. But what does a monk know of matrimony? Except that everyone is only human, and kindness is the oil of grace for both the cloister and the hearth.
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About the Author

You can find Penelope Wilcock at her blog Kindred of the Quiet Way, or at home with her family on England's south coast. She writes to bring faith to life, and has worked within the Methodist Church as preacher, pastor, and in school, hospice, and prison chaplaincies.

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