Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.48 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Beyond the Abbey Gates: A Novel Paperback – May 16, 2006
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"MacCoun excels at rendering a believable world where real people face issues that supersede time and place."—New York Times Book Review
"MacCoun has a distinctive writing style, and she invents an original heroine, a young woman possessed of depth with great presence and dignity. This book marks the extraordinary debut of a fine writer."— Rocky Mountain News
"By a promising first-time novelist, an enchanting historical romance."—Booklist
"More than a good read, it is a story about grace, which, by definition, can never be deserved."—United Methodist Reporter, National Christian Reporter
"With freshness, humor, and extraordinary psychological depth, Catherine MacCoun takes two archetypes—the nun and the troubadour—and clothes them in quirky human character and in flesh theat we come to know as intimately as our own. her depiction of the riotous medieval world her lovers inhabit is equally detailed and sensual. Prepare to go on a pilgrimage worthy of Chaucer."—Elizabeth Cunningham, author of The Return of the Goddess and The Passion of Mary Magdalen
About the Author
Catherine MacCoun is a literary collaborator by profession and has written five published volumes of nonfiction. Her novel, Beyond the Abbey Gates, was originally published as The Age of Miracles, in 1990, and reissued as a Trumpeter book in 2006. She has won numerous grants and awards for her writing, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in prose.
Top customer reviews
This is a re-print of the authors other novel, which is called "The age of miracles." The story is about a failed Saint, a nun named Ingrid who is thought to have healing powers in the 1300's. She doesn't really believe it, and when a troubadour named Jack breaks his leg just outside the abbey, she is tempted, not only physically with Jack, but to his way of life in which she does not owe anyone, and does not have to save all sick people.
Ingrid is a classical case of someone with obsessive compulsive disorder (overly devoted to religion, self harming images, compulsive thoughts of pain) in the first hundred pages, but once she leaves the abbey that all changes. In fact, the change in her character is too complete to be believable. She is almost too perfect. People do terrible things to her and all she wonders is what hurt them so badly that they would do it. Jack, on the other hand, has a real distinctive personality, so it balances out.
I'm not sure I ever read a book written the way this one is. I don't know what to call it except very reflective and psychological. There is a lot in this book about the nature of God, and sin and heaven, healing and of course, saints. This book also explores the different kinds of peace a person can feel, and how to truly live a life.
I had kind of a hard time paying attention to this book, even during the really important parts. It is written so oddly, so differently from anything I've ever read that I can only give it three stars. I think I would recommend it though, if you want to read something that would really make you think.
Sister Ingrid, left by her father with the nuns of Greyleigh Abbey at the age of six, grew up cloistered away from the world. She was a quiet child, ardent student and lonely. She found acceptance with Sister Pipp and a solace in the healing the sister taught her. It was said Ingrid would be a saint, healing with the power of God but Ingrid found doubt and a crisis of faith in an injured troubadour name Jack. He woke feelings in Ingrid she had never experienced. He challenged everything she had ever known. He was the catalyst to Ingrid's future.
Ingrid is forced on a journey of self-exploration. She shapes new identities, grows in ways she would never have imagined. She could go down in history as a saint, healing injuries and illness with the power of God in her hands. She run away with Jack and start a new life, make life with a husband and a family or she could just run away. Where will Ingrid choose to end her journey?
The world around her is also on a journey -- religion, aristocracy, weakness of the human spirit and frailty of the human body. The church breeds corruption and allows absurdities in the name of God; a good man is challenged by demons of his own making. Ingrid is drawn into this world, the world she was guarded from for so long.
Ingrid's imprint is simply put in this excerpt from the prologue:
"This is the story of a failed saint. Church history records the miracles she performed in 1345, then lapses into silence..."
The story in "Beyond the Abbey Gates," is well written, the characters have dimension and history. You will cheer for Ingrid one moment and be disgusted by her choices the next. The world in which she struggles is vivid. You can see the towns, walk on the dirt roads and feel the rain as it falls on your skin. It is a story well worth reading, I say story here and not book because a story is inviting, enchanting and captivating while a book is merely something you open.
Received book free of charge.