The Sharp Hook of Love
"While I sleep you never leave me, and after I wake I see you, as soon as I open my eyes, even before the light of day itself." —Abelard to Heloise
Among the young women of twelfth-century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God.
But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Notre-Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks, he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition.
Sherry Jones weaves the lovers’ own words into an evocative account of desire and sacrifice. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love is a poignant, tender tribute to one of history’s greatest romances, and to love’s power to transform and endure.
Reading Group Guide
The Sharp Hook of Love retells the story of Heloise and Abelard, twelfth-century Parisian lovers. Beautifully incorporating language from the real couple’s letters to each other, the novel traces the story of their romance as it blossoms from a meeting of the minds into a forbidden love affair. United by love even when pulled apart by families, friends, and society, Heloise and Abelard learn what it means to truly sacrifice one’s life for a beloved. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love teaches readers that true love can never be thwarted.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. “For nothing is under less control than the heart—having no power to command it we are forced to obey,”, writes the historical Heloise in a letter to Abelard. This quote is used by the author as an epigraph for the novel, and as such, it frames the story that ensues as one about control—or lack thereof. Who or what is in control in The S see more
Articles About This Book
Posted on XOXO After Dark
Posted by dianajv
As any voracious reader knows, there are so many books out there, it can be hard to choose just what to read next. So what could be better than a hand-picked recommendation from someone in the know? Every Wednesday the XOXOAD team likes to find...