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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review: An Uncertain Age by Ulrica Hume

Title: An Uncertain Age
Author: Ulrica Hume
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Blue Circle Press
Publish Date: September 6, 2011
Source: I received a copy from the publisher. This did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a fiction fan.
  • You're a philosophy fan.
  • You know it's not the destination, it's the journey.
What's the Story?:

From "Where was my real soul mate, I wanted to know, and why were there no twitchy children on my lap, and how had I been so dumb to believe that beauty’s currency would never run out? So, Paris….

Justine’s life is uncertain when she meets Miles Peabody on the Eurostar. She has lost her job, her fiancé, everything except her dream of becoming an artist.

Miles Peabody, a retired librarian and beekeeper, has always led a cautious, philosophical life. Now, faced with his mortality, he needs a miracle.

Drawn inexplicably to each other, their relationship is tested when Miles invites Justine to join him on a Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage. But before she can answer, Miles goes missing. Desperate to find him, and nudged by the French police, Justine slips into a dark night of the soul.

An Uncertain Age by Ulrica Hume is a quirky, interfaith novel about astonishing grace, and longing in all its forms."

My Two Cents:

It's almost as if the stars draw Justine, an American woman who is seeking to have a more settled life, and Miles, an English man who seems to be obsessed with some of life's mysteries. They meet on the Eurostar and both of their lives change. Justine takes up residence in Miles' house in England and Miles is now missing. 

Miles is obsessed with the story of Peter Abelard, someone that I was not familiar at all with. Abelard was a French scholar and philosopher that lived during medieval times (the 12 century specifically). Knowing what Abelard is about is key to understanding this book. Miles is especially focused on Abelard's relationship with Heloise, a young student who was known for her knowledge of languages. Heloise's uncle and caretaker eventually decided he had an issue with Heloise and Peter's relationship and castrated Peter and made Heloise go to the convent. 

Abelard had the idea of Limbo, which was accepted by the Pope. In a way, Miles and Justine are both sort of in limbo. Miles especially is in limbo when he's missing and is on his own sort of spiritual and religious journey much like Abelard. Overtones of Abelard and Heloise's relationship are also definitely present between Miles and Justine.

The writing in this book is great. It kept me reading even when I was getting a little frustrated with the sort of background that is definitely important to know when reading this book. I think that those that really, really like philosophy and the idea of spirituality and where we find it in our own lives will get into this book. Full disclosure, I'm not a huge fan of philosophy and I definitely had to do a little research into some of the ideas throughout the book. It wasn't a deal breaker but it definitely took me out of the book a little bit. The writing really did keep me going!

Bottom line: This book may require some extra knowledge building but the writing is worth it.


  1. This looks like a book I would like, the idea of where philososophy fits into our live is always interesting. Thanks for the great review!


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