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Ciate her continued studies and she shares with him the work that cost her father his lifeAt the center of these interrelated stories is the classic romance between the great scholar Peter Abelard and his intellectual eual Heloise For Rachel Abelard is the key to understanding her people's place in intellectual history For Kavanagh he is a doorway to understanding the life he might have had outside of the Church The Cloister is James Carroll at his bes Originally publishe DOS Novelas Cortas eual Heloise For Rachel Abelard is the key to understanding her people's place in intellectual history For Kavanagh he is a doorway to understanding the life he might have had outside of the Church The Cloister is James Carroll at his bes Originally publishe

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The Cloister

Sation with a lovely and intriguing museum guide Rachel VedetteRachel a scholar of medieval history has retreated to the uiet of The Cloisters after her harrowing experience as a Jewish woman in France during the Holocaust She ponders her late father's greatest intellectual work a study demonstrating the relationship between the famously discredited monk Peter Abelard and Jewish scholars Something about Father Kavanagh makes Rachel think he might appre The Cloisters is a

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From National Book Award winning writer James Carroll comes a novel of the timeless love story of Peter Abelard and Heloise and its impact on a modern priest and a Holocaust survivor seeking sanctuary in ManhattanFather Michael Kavanagh is shocked to see a friend from his seminary days named Runner Malloy at the altar of his humble Inwood community parish Wondering about their past he wanders into the medieval haven of The Cloisters and begins a conver The Cloister is a

10 thoughts on “The Cloister

  1. says:

    I received this book from the publisher via NetgalleyA stunning book beautifully written Carroll brings to life the story of Abelard and Heloise but not to focus on the tragic nature of their romance which resulted in Abelard's brutal castration No he depicts the love that arises when two brilliant people come together each feeding the other's brilliance The result of that love echoes through the centuries to change the lives of two people in New York City in the aftermath of World War II a Catholic priest left staggered by the return of a friend from his youth as he realizes his own poignant isolation in the clergy; and a young woman a Jew from France whose father studied the texts of Abelard and essentially died for it during the war There are layers upon layers here This book is not a melodrama It's about nuance It's about people being people It's about surviving at great cost It's about losing God and finding him again It's about the history of Catholicism and Judaism and how churches like people have a difficult time realizing their errors or making an effort to correct themThis is a book that will haunt me in the best sort of way I am left with a profound need to not only read about Abelard and Heloise but to look for of James Carroll's work

  2. says:

    The Cloister is a rich and demanding reading experience Carroll skillfully weaves together three narratives from three historical settings 1950 New York City Nazi occupied Paris and medieval France I found the novel uite engrossing but because all the characters are grappling with religion and ideas it demands concentration Father Michael Kavanagh and Rachel Vedette both find solace in the writings of Peter Abelard and Heloise whose love story is one of the narratives These writings and Kavanagh's conversations with Rachel help him finally face the history of anti semitism in the Church and the Church's complicity in the Holocaust For Rachel they are a way to hold on to her father a scholar who studied Abelard who was killed by a NaziI really appreciate when a novel sends me off to learn and this one certainly did I have already read a few of the letters of Peter Abelard and Heloise and am finding their story fascinating My only criticism is that occasionally the novel felt like a vehicle for Carroll's message about religion and morality But overall he pulled it off beautifully

  3. says:

    A Catholic grapples with the Jewish uestion for 360 pagesOY VEYFar be it for me to speak for the entirety of the Jewish people but as long as you cool it with the murder and the genocide we don't really give a shit what you think about us We definitely don't need lengthy self back patting apologia on our behalf ThanksI'm am very relieved to be done with this and to now get to read something that whatever the author's intention doesn't reference the Jew and the Christ killers about 12 times per page

  4. says:

    The Cloisters is a novel of ideas that made me feel as breathless and on edge as I do when reading a thriller With masterful writing and pacing the author creates two worlds for the characters to inhabit—1140s Paris and the scholastic sphere of the brilliant Peter Abelard and Heloise and their inevitable and separate retreat from the worldHow this all fits into Nazi occupied Paris concentration camps and on to post WWII New York City is an amazing literary feat Entering this hall of mirrors is the Catholic priest Kavanaugh and the Jewish docent for the Cloisters Rachel Rachel’s father is the link back to Abelard and Heloise as before the war he was a scholar in Paris working on a study of Abelard’s work Dialogus inter philosophum Judaeum et Christianum Dialogue of a Philosopher with a Jew and a Christian 1136–1139 She carries Abelard's book History of my Calamities with her wherever she goes When the priest seeks the shelter of the Cloisters during a rainstorm they fall into conversation and she spontaneously hands it over to the priestThe themes of obligation and exploitation retreat and annihilation manipulation and survival are golden threads to follow through this labyrinth A beautifully horrifying and shattering story Thank you NetGalley and Doubleday I'd give this novel 10 stars if I could

  5. says:

    The Cloister James Carroll Mar 6 456 384 pagesA well researched piece of historical fiction written by former priest James Carroll It is based on historically significant people fascinating subjects who I’d never before heard of It is a multi layered read that spans hundreds of years and begins with philisophernun Holoise d’Argenteuil arriving at the Cloister garden to meet the Abbot where he will lead her to the the body of her much older lover Peter Abelard reflecting on their doomed affair and condemnation Fast forward 800 years when priest Michael Kavanagh and Holocaust survivor Rachel Vedette a docent and scholar have a chance meeting at the Cloister that will change their lives This was the first I heard of Abelard and d’Argenteuil and their historically important story told through different perspectives and eras was complex and very well done

  6. says:

    Religion Philosophy and RomanceAfter an unsettling meeting with an old friend from seminary Father Kavanagh wanders through Central Park To escape the rain he takes shelter in The Cloisters He’s hoping to be alone but Rachael Vedette a museum guide wanders into his sanctuary Their unexpected conversation changes their lives Rachael is a survivor of the Holocaust in France Her father a Medieval scholar studied Abelard in the hope of bringing Abelard’s ideas to the modern era and garnering him the honor he deserves Rachael protected her father’s work throughout her own ordeal now she feels compelled to share it with Father Kavanagh The novel revolves around the story of Heloise and Abelard an iconic love story that echoes through the centuries It is also the story of Rachael and Kavanagh and the struggle to bring the story of the Jews into the rightful place in philosophical thinking a task that Abelard paid dearly forThis is a beautifully written book It’s a book to be savored not read uickly The love story and the foray into philosophy and religion present much food for thought The characters are real people struggling with mighty issues The author did an excellent job of making both the middle ages and the modern era into backgrounds that enhanced the novel I enjoyed both the romance and the philosophy It’s a book worth reading than once I received this book from Net Galley for this review

  7. says:

    An entertaining story about Heloise and Abelard the famous medieval nun and monk this novel is far than that It conveys their theology as well particularly Abelard's and particularly his renunciation of the Catholic Church's hatred and persecution of the Jews The framing device is the story of a modern day pairing a priest and a Jew who mirror Heloise and Abelard even as they study them and discuss them together It's not a bad book and the great love between Heloise and Abelard is portrayed uite vividly as is its calamitous aftermath; but the author clearly wants the reader to understand Abelard's writing about the Jews to show that the church didn't uniformly reject and hate them and he practically beats the reader over the head with these facts rather than trusting that the reader will get it through the events of the story My feeling on the whole is that this is not this author's best fiction

  8. says:

    Carroll has written three story threads in three different time periods I was ignorant of Peter Abelard and Héloïse but I will never forget them and what they stood for against unbelievable odds I knew that the Catholic Church had been complicit in the Holocaust but oblivious to the centuries old teaching that as “killers of Christ” they were worthy of scorn to be wantonly killed Jews God’s chosen people The second thread takes place during the Holocaust and illustrates the anguish of this evil teachingAbelard was an apologist for the Jewish people portraying them with “total sympathy and respect an eual to the Christian The Jew is not an object of conversion or doomed to an eternity of hellfire” This is what he taught his students which put him in opposition to the Catholics leaders of France to his physical perilThe modern day thread follows a chance encounter between a Jewish woman and an Irish Catholic priest who begin a tentative friendship after being drawn together through their fascination with the teachings of Abelard Both are grappling with grievous issues in their lives that were “out of bounds” but come into focus through conversations about the 12th century lives of Peter and Héloïse Abelard’s philosophy said “no” to the militant Christ and “yes” to the Prince of Peace and it was his teachings that opened the door to Father Kavanagh’s inner introspection though he ultimately credits Héloïse for his greatest understandingsCarroll a former priest and practicing Catholic is not indicting the Church but he is throwing open the windows and doors and inviting modern Catholics to stop feeling guilty and to see that is present not in the sacrament or in the Church but in the people of the parish themselves to celebrate Kavanaugh finally recognized that God’s love for him was no longer contingent on his being a priest This book is brilliant and certainly intellectual than I am capable of processing in one reading all the philosophy and theology a book of challenge and hope

  9. says:

    Originally published on my blog Nonstop ReaderA new narrative historical fiction from James Carroll and Doubleday The Cloister uses parallel storylines from the 12th and 20th centuries to illuminate and emphasize the timelessness of faith love fidelity understanding and salvation I cannot emphasize enough how well written and lyrical this book is It's definitely one of the masterfully written books I've read this year The prose is beautiful and luminous The author's ability to write so honestly about some of the most atrocious brutal and heartbreaking episodes of both the 12th and 20th centuries is breathtaking I was really struck by the elevation and sanctity of these two couples whose relation to one another form two potential halves of a whole circle separated by almost a millennium being shaped and molded by these watershed moments That there are valuable human lessons in the midst of devastation and horror throughout time and history and that it was just as true a thousand years ago as now was very profound to meThis is a book which is going to stick with me I think this is an important book even especially? for people who have no active religious belief system The book provides such an elouent and unassailable logical argument for compassion and self control especially with regard to external belief systemsIt's not an easy book to read It's emphatically not light reading The language is finely crafted but it took me time to digest and understandFlawless and achingly beautifulFive starsAnticipated publication date 6 March 2018Formats Kindle Hardcover 384 pagesDisclosure I received an ARC at no cost from the authorpublisher

  10. says:

    It was a promising read to begin with but I had to give it up after 23 of the way through Life is too short to struggle with a cumbersome book when there are so many good books waiting to be read

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