The Apostate's Tale

The Apostate's Tale

Book - 2008
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As the nuns of St. Frideswide's priory prepare for the welcome end of Lent, their peaceful expectations are overset by the sudden return of long-vanished Sister Cecely. Nine years ago she fled from the nunnery with a man. Now her lover is dead and she has come back, bringing her illegitimate son with her. She claims she is penitent, that she wants only to redeem her sin and find safe haven for the child. Neither she nor her son can be turned away, but their presence begins to stir doubts and questions in the hearts of some of the nuns about their own faithfulness to this enclosed life they've chosen to live. Sister Cecely may be penitent--however much Sister Frevisse may doubt it--but fully truthful she is not, and as the apostate nun's lies begin to overtake her, dangers of more than one kind--and maybe murder--become an unwanted part of life in the priory.
Publisher: New York : Berkley Prime Crime, 2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780425219249
0425219240
Branch Call Number: Fic Fraz
Characteristics: 307 p. ; 22 cm.

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m
miaone
Aug 14, 2020

This book is unusual even in the "Dame Frevisse" series by Margaret Frazer. I own all her books and have reread them over and over. I wish SPL owned the entire series, for if you are intrigued by stories based on serious study of the Middle Ages, or well-written mysteries taking place in 1400's England, or plots involving an intelligent, educated nun who is related by marriage (her uncle is the son of Geoffrey Chaucer) to a powerful family during the reigns of the Henrys IV, V, and VI -- if any of that intrigues you, you'll probably like this series. I admit the first book in the series is a not as good as the ones that follow, but it sets up the frame for many of the characters in the books that follow, so I recommend it, The Novice's Tale, anyway. It starts and ends at Saint Frideswides, as does the last book of the series, about an apostate. But several of the books in between these two are set in various locales in England, including London, and together and individually they offer insight into life in England during the 1430's, 1440's, and 1450's which I, at least, would not likely otherwise have access to. My only complaint about the series is that this is the last installment; the author died of cancer several years ago. I never met her, but I miss her.

d
delfon
Jun 17, 2014

Another engrossing read from one of the better medieval poseurs. Starts out slow, mundane accident, but gets more involved, which characterizations., so at the end, a finality which is most unsettling, even for moderns.

31foster Jun 29, 2012

Margaret Frazer's exploration of the spiritual life continues to intrigue me. Reflections on the vowed life by Frevisse, various nuns of St. Frideswide's priory and the apostate nun who has returned, seeking sanctuary, are woven into this tale of attempted murder and deception. The historical detail, especially concerning medieval medical practices and theory is equally interesting.

j
jkeaton
Jul 22, 2010

Outstanding - Dame Frevisse is a great successor to Brother Cadfael, and the novels are rich in plot, human weakness and strength, history and atmosphere.

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