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Aelred`s Sin

(2 customer reviews)

Price: £7.99


E-book, E-Book (USA), Paperback

Author Lawrence Scott
Rights World English
ISBN 9780749003746
Pages 445
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Winner of a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book


Robert de la Borde comes to England in the 1980`s from the Caribbean after hearing that his brother, Jean Marc, has died. In Bristol, his brother`s journals prompt Robert to visit Ashton Park Monastery, which Jean Marc entered in the 1960`s as Brother Aelred.


There, with the help of his brother`s monastic friend Benedict, Robert pieces together Jean Marc`s life; his exuberance, his mental suffering, and his struggle to balance his sexual impulses with his love of God, as set out in the work of Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship, against the austerity of Catholic sexual morality. In his understanding, Robert also learns what connects Jean Marc to Jordan, the African slave-boy captive at Ashton Park during the eighteenth century.


As Robert is forced to question his inherited prejudices and to confront another ghost of Jean Marc`s childhood – the events concerning Ted Salter – what unfolds is a story about the triumph of compassion over brutality. Moving from present to past, from cruelty to sympathy, Aelred`s Sin is a powerful new novel of erotic love, spiritual awakening and above all, reconciliation.

What The Critics Said

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  1. Anonymous

    ‘This is a finely crafted study in the tensions that arise between love for another person and the love of God. Aelred is a young man who wants to devote his life to the God that he yearns to worship and serve. Yet he is forced by religious authorities and tradition to deny his other need, and that is to love and be loved by another human being. The fact that this ‘other person’ is also an initiate in the monastery where Aelred has come to test his calling, adds to his confusion. Lawrence Scott’s book reaches to the heart of the problem, without trying to offer any trite answers or easy solutions. It is an honest and most moving portrayal of homosexual love and the pain and delight of finding love with another human being. I discovered this book quite by accident, but feel that somehow I was meant to read it. As a Minister of religion, of a denomination currently grappling with this issue of human sexuality, I found Aelred’s Sin to be amongst the most moving and thought provoking novels I have read for a long time. I most heartily recommend it. You will not be disapointed.’

  2. D. J. Williams

    ‘This book has an absorbing story and a moving ending. I was, however, a bit disappointed with the way the story was structured and irritated by the significant number of typing errors. Also, I often thought, as I read the text, that many of the characters I encountered were two dimensional. The constant move between past and present in alternative chapters often did not work, though it did work with great affect in some instances, particularly with Aelred’s tragic relationship with Ted. Where I think the story does work well, though, is in its depiction of Aelred’s internal struggles. Overall, I think that this book is worth reading, but it does not deserve five stars.’

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