Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Sharp Hook of Love: Review and Giveaway Information!

Synopsis:


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 changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the NĂ´tre 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.
 
Sherry 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 endure.


So What Did I Think About The Story?:

 


The Sharp Hook of Love might be one of the most poetic and beautifully written novels I have read in quite some time. I found myself rereading passages out loud just to hear them spoken. The way the author included quotes from the lovers' letters to each other really helped solidify not only the ardent love they experienced but the hurt, fear and confusion that came from going against the destinies set before them and the political, religious and societal norms and rules they were breaking at every turn.

What I enjoyed even more than the beautiful writing, however, was the unbelievable complexity of the feelings between Heloise and Abelard. Both of these characters are flawed in their own way and yet their love is true and deep. Abelard is brilliant beyond compare in so many ways - he's a poet, philosopher, teacher, singer and songwriter - and he has no problem letting everyone know it! At times he comes off as arrogant, rude and manipulative and I found myself questioning his motives in regards to Heloise. Then as the story progressed I discovered how much he actually sacrificed for love and I realized that any man who didn't love a woman as he loved Heloise wouldn't have risked all he did to be with her whenever he could. Heloise isn't perfect herself, conducting her love affair under her uncle's roof knowing full well she is meant for the abbey and, feeling abandoned and pained, eventually elicits the help of this very same uncle, who she knows wants nothing more than to bring down Abelard, inadvertently taking away any chance of the two living happily-ever-after. These very imperfections are what makes this love story feel so real, unusual and meant to go down in history. No matter what they do to each other that sharp hook embedded in each of their hearts will never let go!

It is quite clear that Sherry Jones did a good amount of research into not only these two captivating people's lives but also into the environment they lived in. The descriptions of the architecture, the streets and the people all come to life on the page. To fully immerse themselves in the story the reader has to also fully immerse themselves in the time and place in which their lives unfold, and the author makes this easy to do. Heloise's vibrant intelligence and wit is  not appreciated or, seemingly, wanted in her lifetime and she has very few choices when the men in her life try to determine what course  her future should take. This was very hard to read at times, especially given the sacrifices she will have to make (I don't want to give too much away!), but this makes the choices she does make that much more poignant and heartbreaking. The author does not shy away from the very real and very harsh historical truths and I, for one, really appreciate that when reading historical fiction.

The Sharp Hook of Love presents a love story out of time and one, given the time it DOES fall into, seemingly destined to fail. However these two intelligent and determined people will not let their world dictate what they feel in their hearts and, even given all the hurt caused, both want nothing but each other when their last days arrive. This is a heartbreaking and tragic story yet one that is also inspiring and completely captivating.

So What Did I Think About The Cover?:


Absolutely swoon-worthy! The passion these two felt for each other is front and center and the bright and vibrant colors draw the eye right in.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0!


Giveaway Information

 


The Sharp Hook of Love will release on October 7th, 2014 but you can enter to win your own copy before it releases! Goodreads is running a giveaway right now so be sure to head over there and enter to win (the giveaway is running until September 4th, 2014 so hurry!). Go HERE to add the book to your wishlist and enter the giveaway.


 

Sherry Jones is also giving away 100 copies of her e-novella White Heart, about Blanche de Castille, the protagonist in her novel Four Sisters, All Queens, so head over to her website HERE now to enter to win a copy!

About The Author



Sherry Jones is an American journalist and internationally best selling author of the controversial "The Jewel of Medina" and other historical fiction novels about women's power. She is also a speaker on issues including women's rights, free speech, and Islamophobia.
 

Her forthcoming novel, THE SHARP HOOK OF LOVE, tells of the forbidden love affair between two of the Middle Ages' greatest intellectuals: Peter Abelard, headmaster of the Notre-Dame Cloister School and a poet whose good looks and love songs make women swoon; and Heloise d'Argenteuil, a beautiful woman scholar being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess. This erotic, passionate story about the sacrifices we make for love debuts October 7th from Simon and Schuster's Gallery Books.



 

 

 

8 comments:

  1. Heloise and Abelard was one of the first romantic novels I read when I was young and impressionable. I wish I still had my copy. I'm glad you liked the writing style of this version of the story. So I look forward to reading it. However I can't agree with you on the cover. It intrudes on my imagination. Dear Publisher, please let me build up my own images of the lovers in my imagination. I would prefer a bland cover but that would'tt be the sort of thing to attract viewers in a shop !!!

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    1. The Sharp Hook of Love is my first introduction to these lovers so I didn't have any impressions of them going in (which I think is good...that way I am fresh and ready to learn about them :) ). I have to admit to being somewhat of a cover lover and enjoy a vibrant, eye catching cover. But I do get your point about covers going against the images we might have in our head of characters. The same thing happens in movie adaptations (at least for me).

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  2. I can't wait to read it! And if some of your readers would love to be part of a vibrant book tour for it, there are just a few spots left: http://francebooktours.com/2014/08/13/sherry-jones-on-tour-the-sharp-hook-of-love/
    Because of Heloise's and Abelard's background, I think a kind of imitation illumination would have been much better

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    1. Thank you! I didn't think about an illumination for the cover...that could have been beautiful as well! I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to read the book!

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  3. I cannot wait to read this book! Glad you liked (rather, loved) it! You've made me even more excited to read it (and I did not think that was possible)!

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    1. Thanks Meg!!! I hope you love it too :)!

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  4. lazycoffees, I wonder if you're talking about Stealing Heaven, a novel from, I believe, the late 1970s-early 80s? It was also made into a movie (which I didn't care for). I haven't read it--I don't read novels about someone I'm writing about, not wanting to be influenced--but it was quite popular, I think. As for the character depictions, I'm sure that when you read The Sharp Hook of Love you'll form your own impressions, anyway. Heloise in my book has dark hair -- for some reason, most fictional characterizations of her give her blonde hair, so I decided to go against the norm. Plus, we tend to associate dark hair with intelligence, while you know what happens to blondes. ;)

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