There is something about tragic love stories that captivate readers. The ups and downs of love, the agony and the ecstasy, and of course, the passion and the pain are much more fascinating than some perfect love story wrapped up in a pretty bow. One of the greatest tragic love stories of history is the story of Abelard and Heloise. The two lovers were so passionately in love with one another, but duty, ambition, and the time they lived in threatened and destroyed this passionate love affair. In “The Sharp Hook of Love” by Sherry Jones, a tragic, but fascinating real life love story is portrayed proving that love can be such bittersweet pain.
“The Sharp Hook of Love” follows Heloise d’Argenteuil, a young woman living in 12th century Paris who is simply brilliant. Abandoned by her mother at a convent, Heloise grows up learning and training to become a great abbess. She seems accepting of her plans until meeting Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Nôtre Dame Cloister School. Philosopher Pierre has a brilliant mind that shocks and wows the men of Paris and delicious good looks and charm that has the women of Paris swooning. Pierre becomes Heloise’s teacher in the hopes of preparing her for her career as an abbess, but the two fall deeply for one another and embark on a secret passionate love affair. This love affair is powerful, but puts them in danger as they are forced to deal with Heloise’s uncle’s anger, a judgmental sect in Paris, and personal duty. “The Sharp Hook of Love” is the definition of a love story turned tragic.
“The Sharp Hook of Love” is a beautiful work by Jones. Jones powerfully portrays the tragic relationship of Abelard and Heloise. The novel is seen through the eyes of Heloise’s and so movingly written. Jones completely captures the voice of Heloise and the writing and language is especially poignant and and moving. Jones depicts the different parts of Heloise’s relationship with Abelard in such detailed and fascinating fashion. Readers will feel as if they are with Heloise as she experiences the highs and lows of this painful romance. Heloise completely comes alive thanks to Jones.
Jones also wonderfully portrays Abelard. Never has a male character been so alluring and frustrating at the same time. You’ll find yourself swooning over his love and passion for Heloise, but you may also find yourself shaking your head in disbelief and anger at his level of selfishness and self-pity. Jones has given Abelard a complex portrayal that is sure to leave readers confused at the complexity of their feelings for him, just as Heloise experienced.
The novel also features a side story of Heloise dealing with her mother’s abandonment and the secret of finding out who her father is that parallels perfectly with the relationship of Abelard and Heloise. Heloise’s past and longing to know about her mother and father is a moving addition to the story.
“The Sharp Hook of Love” is one of those beautifully written and powerful novels that will leave a lasting impression. Days after you read the novel you will find yourself thinking about the heartbreaking love story of Abelard and Heloise. Kudos to Jones for showing the tragic and difficult side of love. Love isn’t perfect and doesn’t always have a happy ending. Love is one of the most complicated things on this planet and Jones so magnificently portrays that.
To purchase “The Sharp Hook of Love”: http://www.amazon.com/Sharp-Hook-Love-Sherry-Jones/dp/1451684797
For more information on Sherry Jones: http://authorsherryjones.com/