“When I reached the last page of The Hardest Thing to Do, I experienced an overwhelming sense of peace. Abbot John and his monks are not the only ones whose hearts and lives are ripe for change; Penelope Wilcock’s legion of readers may find themselves altered as well. Mercy, grace, and forgiveness are woven throughout the story with a deft hand, as we meet a community of God’s faithful servants who are genuinely flawed yet always sympathetic. The descriptive passages are poetic, and the medieval details evocative, with a rich sense of time and place. I offer my highest praise and most heartfelt recommendation: you will love this novel!”
—Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times best-selling author, Mine is the Night and Bad Girls of the Bible
“Penelope Wilcock has written a novel as deep and contemplative as the monks whose stories she tells. Her intimate knowledge of medieval monastic life sweeps you into the past, yet the struggles she chronicles are timeless. This book is not toss-away entertainment; it’s literature that pours from a poetic soul. Putting it down at the end of the day was the hardest thing to do.”
—Bryan M. Litfin, Professor of Theology, Moody Bible Institute; author, The Sword, The Gift, and Getting to Know the Church Fathers
“Beautiful, profound, moving, and spiritual, this book is written out of the deep well that is Penelope Wilcock. As the reader is drawn to live in the ancient monastery of St. Alcuin and share the daily challenges of the community struggling to receive the grace of God and bring it into their world, each one of us comes to ask: 'What is the hardest thing to do?' and, 'Can I do this, with God's help?'”
—Donna Fletcher Crow, author, Glastonbury: The Novel of Christian England and The Monastery Murders
“James the apostle wrote that ‘mercy triumphs over judgement,’ but some of the brothers of St. Alcuin’s Abbey find vengenance more satisfying than forgiveness in Wilcock’s delightful tale of medieval monastic life. The Hardest Thing to Do is wonderfully accurate to time and place, and perceptive in its treatment of the strife which can afflict even the people of God.”
—Mel Starr, author, The Unquiet Bones, A Corpse at St. Andrew’s Chapel, and A Trail of Ink
"I am encouraged that your new book will be released soon—it's like the promise of spring to me—something precious to hold in my heart until the day comes."
—Dorothy Bode, mother to eleven (so far...), Minneapolis, Minnesota
About the Author
Penelope Wilcock is the author of over a dozen books of fiction and poetry, including The Hawk and the Dove trilogy. She lives a quiet life on the southeast coast of England with her husband and is the mother of five children.