Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Confession of Brother Haluin - Ellis Peters

the confessions of brother haluin
ellis peters
c. 1988
196 pages
completed 12/22/2009

read for: brother cadfael chronicles

*may contain spoilers*

After a forty foot fall off the roof of the abbey guest hall, Brother Haluin makes a deathbed confession to both Abbot Radolfus and Brother Cadfael concerning a deadly sin against a girl in his past that he has kept hidden for eighteen years. Only Brother Haluin does not die. Slowly he begins to mend, and when he is recovered enough he takes it upon himself to embark on a pilgrimage to ask forgiveness from the people involved in his past sin. Because he will never regain the full use of his feet, which were mangled in the fall, and is forced to go on crutches, Brother Cadfael is ordered to accompany Brother Haluin on his pilgrimage. The two set off on what should be a pretty straight forward errand, but instead get mixed up in deceit, betrayals, thwarted lovers, and murder. And so it is left to Cadfael to untangle the mystery.

Once again, I think I was just so excited to read something that wasn't assigned to me! I couldn't put this down. Yesterday I was supposed to be wrapping presents, but I was in the middle of the third chapter and I thought to myself "I'll just finish this chapter and then I'll wrap my presents." Yeah, eleven chapters later I was done with the book and my presents were still unwrapped.

I had a few quibbles with this edition. First of all, there was just not enough Hugh! He is my favorite and for me, the more Hugh the more enjoyment. But obviously, this takes place outside his jurisdiction. And we got some Hugh at the beginning, so that was good.

Second, there wasn't a lot of mystery. Well, that's not exactly true. There was some weird stuff going on and I as the reader was certainly confused and intrigued, but it wasn't like Cadfael was really out solving a mystery. He was just sort of there. And because of this, Cadfael never really formed a relationship with either of the lovers. Normally he becomes one of their confidantes and advocates, but in this instance he just sort of knew them both. I'm sure as soon as he was gone, he was forgotten. I don't think that is normally the case.

And lastly, I was not satisfied with the ending of Haluin and Bertrande. Perhaps I am too young to find something I had lost so long ago and be able to just keep it as a beautiful memory. I would want it for real. All this being said, I still couldn't put it down. And I didn't really think of these quibbles until after I had finished reading, so they didn't detract from the reading at all. I am going to be very sad when I am finally finished with this series.



Lezlie said...

I totally understand. I was sad when I finished this series, too.

I hope you have a great Christmas!

Veronica said...

Lezlie, a little part of me wants to quit reading just so there will always be more adventures!

Hope you had a merry Christmas!