Beyond the Abbey Gates: A Novel

by Catherine MacCoun | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1590303717 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingAceofHeartswing of Mississauga, Ontario Canada on 8/13/2006
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, August 13, 2006
From the Publisher
Everyone at Greyleigh abbey believes that Ingrid is a healing saint, although she herself is wracked with confusion and doubt. Jack, a traveling troubadour, breaks his leg near the convent's gates and becomes a patient at the abbey's infirmary. Ingrid is strangely drawn to Jack, whose unabashed joy in life's pleasures is a living contradiction to her harshly disciplined upbringing with the nuns. After the lovers are separated, both undergo metamorphoses. Jack is surprised and humbled by his devotion to Ingrid, and finds his cynicism falling away in his anguished pursuit of her. Ingrid leaves both Jack and her life at the convent behind in a crisis of faith. Her ensuing misadventures render her both stronger and more courageous--and joyful not to be a saint. This book was first published in hardcover as "The Age of Miracles."

Journal Entry 2 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Thursday, June 23, 2011
This story takes place in the mid 1300s. Ingrid Fairfax has been raised in a convent. She has healing powers which she doubts and is not all that happy about. She abhors the days when the nuns open the convent to the sick. When Jacques Brigand des Coeurs, a travelling troubadour breaks his leg just outside the doors of the convent, he is brought inside to recover.

Jacques seduces Ingrid and forces her to examine her way of life. She leaves the convent and then it is a story of missing each other. Ingrid is treated abominably as women of this period often were.

The history of this book was interesting. I found Ingrid to be a little too perfect for my liking. I would have liked her to at least be angry with the way she is treated.

Journal Entry 3 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Reading now.

Journal Entry 4 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Saturday, October 22, 2011
Ingrid is a nun that grew up at Greyleigh Abbey and took an interest in the infirmary at a young age. As she helps the elder nun that works there, she realizes that she can miraculously cure people. The Abbey declares her a saint and wants her to see visitors that have written in about their illnesses. Ingrid is less sure she is a saint. She couldn't feel God working through her when she performed the miracle and doesn't feel special at all.

When a young troubadour breaks his leg near the abbey, he is entrusted to Ingrid's care to help his leg heal. Jack is incredibly bored and being a womanizer, there is nothing for him to do in the Abbey. As Ingrid cares for him, he feels the connection and eventually the two sleep together. Ingrid runs away from the Abbey and Jack tries to find her.

This book was a rather slow go for me. I don't think enough background was given on Ingrid to explain why she thought she wasn't a saint. I also didn't understand her connection with God; was there one or wasn't there? Once she got out of the Abbey, the story moved a bit better and was more interesting. This was not my favourite historical fiction.

Journal Entry 5 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, October 23, 2011
This book is back with me :)

Journal Entry 6 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, January 15, 2012
mailed to Dancing-dog who won this in a Historical Fiction swap on BookObsessed

Journal Entry 7 by dancing-dog at Cordova, Tennessee USA on Friday, January 20, 2012
Received in the mail today - thanks!

Journal Entry 8 by dancing-dog at Cordova, Tennessee USA on Tuesday, October 01, 2013
This book didn't read like most historical fiction for me - it went faster and was entertaining and somehow seemed to be less worried about all those little historical details. That didn't really bother me - I think the thing that did bother me about this book was that a lot of the story just seemed so improbable to me - there were just too many coincidental events ... and of course a happy ending :)

This book was given to me by my friend Dana, aka AceofHearts - thinking of you - you are missed.

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