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The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis…
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The Confession of Brother Haluin (1988)

by Ellis Peters

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Brother Cadfael (15)

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English (15)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (18)
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Title: The Confession of Brother Haluin
Series: Brother Cadfael #15
Author: Ellis Peters
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 208
Format: Digital Edition



Synopsis:


Brother Haluin almost dies and confesses to the head Priest and Cadfael. He had an encounter of the flesh with a young woman, who he got with child 18 years ago. Haluin gave the mother herbs from Cadfael's herbariam to end the pregnancy but the mother told Haluin that it ended up killing the mother along with the child. And that was when Haluin entered the abbey, in despair.
He ends up surviving his ordeal, he gives himself the penance of walking to the dead woman's tomb and keeping vigil for a night. Haluin's feet being crippled due to the ordeal, Cadfael is tasked with helping him keep his vow.
In a string of coincidences that can only happen in a murder mystery, we find out that Haluin was lied to by the mother and that the young woman was married off and the child raised as that other man's. Said young woman is now a nun as old as Haluin. Their daughter has love issues all of her own which are neatly resolved when it is revealed that she is NOT the blood daughter of the Old Duke. An old lady servant is killed by the nun's mother to keep everything secret. Because the old mother did all of this because she wanted the young man back in the day and he wouldn't commit adultery with her, as she was married. So she starts this whole chain of events.
Everyone except the old mother ends up being reasonably satisfied with how things turn out and Brother Haluin and Cadfael return to their abbey.

My Thoughts:

This was a typical Brother Cadfael mystery. He's just an observer like he has been in the last several and has very little to do with the actual story. So that's where I'd normally give this a 3star rating. But this time around a lot of the story is driven by ideas of absolution and atoning for you own sins, ie, working to get your sins forgiven. Haluin makes it a point that if he can't fulfill his vow, he won't be forgiven. And it is stated outright that he doesn't feel like he'll be forgiven if he doesn't DO some sort of very hard penance.

Normally the catholic practices and theology are kept in the background of these books. This time around though, they played a much bigger part and cut right across everything the Bible actually says about forgiveness of sins. When I hear about earning forgiveness for your sins, well, that just sets my staunch Protestant soul ablaze. I won't go into the details, as this is not a theology post. But it really took this book down a peg for me. I've actually been surprised this hasn't happened before.

I've got 5 or 6 more Brother Cadfael books to go and I'm really hoping I can stick it out to the end. But to be honest, these are getting boring; that's almost as bad as un-Biblical theology in my mind!

★★☆☆ ½ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Oct 10, 2017 |
Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter's nom de plume) presents us here with another delightful story, at times sad, at times very touching--especially its ending. You will walk with Haluin and Cadfael through the roads of England (still torn by the conflict between Matilda and Stephen for the crown), the first plodding painfully in crutches, the other accompanying him in this pilgrimage of redemption--and much discovery. The whole mystery you will quickly unveil, yet, Pargeter had such talent for telling stories, everything is so perfectly and expertly unwound, you will not mind the actual lack of a mystery! (I recommend everyone enjoying the "Cadfael" series to read book 16, "A Rare Benedictine," that tells the story of Cadfael entry into monastic life.) ( )
  MrsRK | Nov 21, 2016 |
Haluin suffers a near-fatal fall and makes what he thinks is a dying confession to the abbot and Cafael; he unexpectedly recovers and decides to make a journey of expiation with Cafael as his companion. ( )
  antiquary | Oct 3, 2015 |
Six-word review: Improbable tale charms indulgent series fan.

Extended review: It's not hard to picture the author chuckling quietly to herself as she pieced together the fifteenth chronicle of a medieval monk whose monastic life seems to be as riddled with episodes of violent death as if he were a spiritual ancestor of Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher. The first book of the series takes place in the spring of the year 1137, and this one begins in December of 1142. That's an average of nearly three dastardly crimes per year within the reach of the quiet, well-run abbey in Shrewsbury, all of which depend somehow on Brother Cadfael for their solution and the invocation of justice.

So it's no wonder that by now the author has ventured rather far into the realm of unlikelihood, albeit with the usual complement of concealed identities, long-hidden sins, thwarted romances, and complicated family relationships.

However, if we've stayed with the series this long, we love Brother Cadfael, and we're just happy to watch him going about his business, doing what he does best, which on most days is growing and tending his herb garden, preparing remedies, and offering wise counsel to those who seek it, and on surprisingly frequent occasions is investigating crimes and exposing culprits.

In this installment, it doesn't even matter that Cadfael has almost no detecting to do. His main function is to serve as a go-between and catalyst while the dramas of others play out. That's enough. I got what I came for. ( )
2 vote Meredy | May 20, 2014 |
Miss Haversham, forsooth! ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peters, Ellisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
BascoveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chwat, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janssens, PieterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langowski, JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menini, María AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michowski, MarekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Okamoto, HamaeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelitti, ElsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planhof, MaiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pošustová, StanislavaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Song, Ŭn-gyŏngTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The worst of the winter came early, that year of 1142.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0445408553, Mass Market Paperback)

On his deathbed, Brother Haluin confesses to a shocking act in his past--and then recovers. To atone, Haluin determines to make a journey of expiation with Brother Cadfael and embarks on an arduous journey that leads to discoveries of deceit, betrayal, revenge . . . and murder. "Each addition to the series is a joy".--USA Today.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:08 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Brother Cadfael is witness to a shocking near-death confession and accompanies a fellow Benedictine on a dangerous quest for redemption.

» see all 7 descriptions

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