Title: The Sharp Hook of Love
Author: Sherry Jones
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: October 7, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Among the young women of
12th century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily
educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become
an abbess in the service of God. But with one encounter, her destiny
Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Nôtre Dame
Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in
France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet
despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks,
he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship
blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both
Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition.
Jones weaves the lovers’ own words into an evocative account of desire
and sacrifice. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is
beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love is a poignant, tender tribute to one
of history’s greatest romances, and to love’s power to transform and
My Two Cents:
"The Sharp Hook of Love" is a historical fiction story that surrounds the lives of real-life star-crossed lovers, Heloise and Abelard. It is hard to think of a couple with a story that is both filled with equal amounts of romance and tragedy. Heloise and Abelard have sometimes been called the real-life Romeo and Juliet but in this humble reader's opinion, their story may be even more tragic and more heart wrenching. Historical lovers may be familiar with the story of Heloise and Abelard but Jones breathes new life into this love story that had me reading with bated breath.
The main characters in this book are completely compelling and kept me turning the pages. Heloise was a woman before her time. She had a promising life as a scholar and so many in her family were pushing her to follow in her famous mother's footprints. Abelard is a scholar in his own right. They challenge each other mentally through pondering through theology and philosophy together. They fall for each other wholeheartedly but of course, as we know from history, their love was not allowed to be. Because I was so drawn to the characters and liked how their romance unfolded, I so wanted their ending to be different. Even if you know how things end for them, you will still find yourself rooting for Heloise and Abelard.
I was drawn in by not only the characters but the setting and historical detail as well. This book is definitely a feast for the mind for readers. Jones vividly paints a great picture of what life was like for Heloise and Abelard. We see Heloise's family's excitement over her future turn to devastation as they realize how her independent mind is messing up their plans. We also get a good glimpse at French society is during the time. This detail was fantastic and really helped me to understand just how forbidden and how scandalous Heloise and Abelard's relationship must have seemed at the time. This is definitely a book that I am going to be thinking about for a long, long time!