Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Glastonbury Tor by LeAnne Hardy Tour

When his mother dies, sixteen-year-old Colin is consumed with hate for his harsh, demanding father. Looking for a true relationship with Christ and purification for his hateful heart, he journeys to the historic monastery at Glastonbury, within whose walls lies the Holy Grail. In this captivating novel centered around Glastonbury Tor (Hill), a young man seeks salvation as the Catholic Church finds itself in turmoil during the reign of Henry VIII.

Colin's mother has always wanted her son to be a monk and a scholar.  His father despises him for his ways and wishes he would become a man.  He is a violent and drunken man, and it is his lust that causes the death of Colin's mom and unborn sister.  Filled with hate and grieving, Colin slides a sword into his father's belly. He is shocked at his own actions and knows that he will never get to see him mom in heaven now because he has murdered his father.

But Colin's father is not dead, just very very angry.  Colin's oldest brother urges Colin to pack what he can carry and to seek out their father's cousin in the Monastary.  Out of sight, out of mind.  But on Colin's journey, he stays the night at the home of Nathanial Thatcher.  There, he is treated with kindness, but the daughter reads, which is unheard of, and they own a Bible, which is against the law.  Only priests may own and read from a Bible.

But they take him to the Monastary, where he is taken in as a novice.  Some of the monks are earnest in their dedication to God and some just go through the motions.  At this time, Henry VIII is King, so the background of the story if filled with turmoil.  The monks believe the Thatchers to be heretics, but Colin only finds them kind and there is a splash of romance, but by no means, the main part of the story.  When a priest seeks power and wants to destroy a treasure within, things come to a head.  But can Colin get rid of his hate and forgive himself so that he can learn to help others?

This coming of age story is brimming with historical facts and filled with clever and unique characters that blend into a page-turning story.  Hardy weaves a masterful novel with crooks and crannies just waiting to be delved into and revealed.  I really enjoyed it and I believe my teenagers will too.  It carries several strong messages and is easy to read and follow along. 

I may have grown up in the Midwestern suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana, but since then I have sipped cream tea in Oxfordshire, slid down rocks in a Mato Grosso river, eaten stewed goat at an African wedding, and climbed Table Mountain. (If you read the rest of this page, you will find out where I lived when I did those things.) My books are set in a variety of countries, and each tries to capture the unique feel of that place.

I have been married to my husband since 1973. We have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren. I also have two degrees: a BA in philosophy (Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 1973) and an MA in library and information science (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1977). But my secret love has always been children’s literature. I began collecting beautiful picture books before I had the excuse of my own children, but I didn't start writing seriously until I was well into my forties.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Wendy. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I hope your teens will too. (Our family are big fans of Winnie the Pooh. Eeyore is our favorite. You gave me a chuckle.)


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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