The Cloister

James Carroll


The Cloister

The Cloister

  • Title: The Cloister
  • Author: James Carroll
  • ISBN: 9780385541275
  • Page: 138
  • Format: Hardcover



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 Manhattan Father 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 abFrom 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 Manhattan.Father 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 conversation with a lovely and intriguing museum guide, Rachel Vedette Rachel, a scholar of medieval history, has retreated to the quiet 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 appreciate her continued studies, and she shares with him the work that cost her father his life At the center of these interrelated stories is the classic romance between the great scholar Peter Abelard and his intellectual equal 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 best.


Recent Comments "The Cloister"

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley.A 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 [...]

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 world.How 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 m [...]

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 more masterfully written books I've read this year. The prose is beautiful and luminous. The author's ability to writ [...]

I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and can’t get it out of my mind. After thinking about it for a couple of weeks I don’t know how to tell you it’s worth every minute of your time and do that telling justice. Bear with me and then go buy the book.I had, somewhere in my life, heard the names Heloise and Abelard. I knew theirs was a love story but that’s I all. I didn’t know their time, their story or their purpose. I do now.The many layers of The Cloister include the story of a [...]

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 [...]

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 angui [...]

I have not read Carroll for a long time but this came along as a Netgalley ARC and well, I was happy to enter his world again. This time he explores the tale of Heloise and Abelard. Father Michael Kavanaugh and Rachel Vedette meet by chance at the Cloisters. Rachel's story, as a survivor of the Holocaust, is beautifully rendered. This well written novel explores a variety of themes- paralleling 12th century France and the 20th century. It's not a fast read but more a thoughtful and erudite one. [...]

"Abelard and Héloïse? Was he not that guy who got castrated?" That was the first thing that came to mind. And that they had joined a monastery afterwards summed up all I knew.The novel is in fact three stories that intertwine:- The story of Abelard and Héloïse in 12th century France;- The story of Jewish Rachel and her father the professor in and around Paris during the Second World War;- The story of the Father Mike, a priest in New York, of Irish decent who meets Rachel in 1950.This novel [...]

In the grand tradition of Kate Mosse, this book juxtaposes the story of Peter Abelard and Heloise with a more contemporary story of Father Kavanagh and Rachel. We meet both of our sets of main characters early on in the story and learn and grow with them through their trials and tribulations. Carroll is careful to paint us a very vivid picture of 12th century France to bring the romantic characters of Abelard and Heloise to life. Admittedly, this story has always held a romantic ideal for me. Th [...]

This is a wonderful book and I was hooked since the first pages. I coudn't believe I never read anything by this writer as he is so incredibly good.I am still reading it, savouring every page and trying to make it last as long as possible.Strongly recommended.

I was given an advance copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.WoW! An excellent book that tells the epic love story of Heloise and Abelard and the importance and context of Paul Abelard's teachings. The story moves between 12th century time of these lovers then tells the story of a father and daughter living in the Polish ghetto during World War II, and finally in a small Irish Catholic parish in New York City in the 1950's. I know that these stories don't really seem [...]

Father Michael Kavanagh stepped into the Cloisters, a medieval museum composed of parts of former cloisters brought from Europe by John D. Rockefeller.Jr. The museum was near his blue collar Catholic parish in upper New York City. However the priest had never been inside the museum. While there, he met Rachel Vedette, a Jewish docent who has survived the Holocaust in her native France. The two struck up an uneasy friendship and cemented it with the information of her late father’s study of the [...]

Peter Abelard 's reputation down through the centuries had "risen and fallen: initially a heretic, then a scholastic philosopher, then an embryonic Protestant, then a hero of the Enlightenment, then an admired humanist of the Romantic era". He became abbot of Saint-Gildas de Rhuys. Together with Heloise, his student, he was the inventor of modern love. They were the Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere. Abelard is all but unknown to anti-modern Catholic theology.Mike Kava [...]

The Cloister is that rare contemporary novel that demands intellectual and emotional engagement from the reader. Yes, it is the historical love story of Abelard and Heloise, and it can of course be read for that alone. But, it is more importantly a quest for understanding; an enquiry in to crimes in the name of religion; a search for redemption; and an examination of how we choose to live our live.Heavy stuff, indeed.James Carroll presents these themes and the reader can elect to engage in them, [...]

The Cloister by James Carroll tells the story of the forbidden love of Peter Abelard and Héloïse in 12th century Paris. Two brilliant minds teaching lessons that placed the Catholic church in a new perspective. It also tells the stories of Rachel Vedette, a French scholar and Holocaust survivor studying Abelard’s work, and Father Kavanagh, a catholic priest in New York in 1950, and the influence that Abelard’s and Héloïse’s legacy has on their lives. Abelard’s views on Catholicism ce [...]

This was a really interesting tale about Both World War II, religion and also the 12th century.I did find the entire focus to be there. The writing good enough to handle the difference in styles and syntax, since how we spoke nearly a century ago will be extremely different from now. And the way that it managed to interwine it with the entirely storyline well enough.The writing and the tale of Heloise was the real reason why I fell in love with this book. Rachel was incredibly relatable too, but [...]


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    Published :2018-08-07T02:53:19+00:00