Before we start, let's turn to handy dandy Wikipedia to get the actual definition of Oblate, shall we?
Anyway, so this is where our narrator spends his whole life. He is with the monastery through all kinds of ups and downs, including at least 2 bouts of plague, almost starving a few times and barely escaping a very serious explosion.
His life takes a bit of a turn when his father, who he doesn't know, comes to visit him at the monastery. He asks something of the young boy that causes him all kinds of inner turmoil and that he reflects on at length throughout his confession. He was really upset by it, so you kind of think he did something insanely bad, like setting an orphanage on fire. It's not that bad.I mean, it's not nice, but it's not orphanage arson bad.
Set in 7th century England, The Oblate’s Confession tells the story of Winwaed, a boy who – in a practice common at the time – is donated by his father to a local monastery. In a countryside wracked by plague and war, the child comes to serve as a regular messenger between the monastery and a hermit living on a nearby mountain. Missing his father, he finds a surrogate in the hermit, an old man who teaches him woodcraft, the practice of contemplative prayer, and, ultimately, the true meaning of fatherhood. When the boy’s natural father visits the monastery and asks him to pray for the death of his enemy – an enemy who turns out to be the child’s monastic superior – the boy’s life is thrown into turmoil. It is the struggle Winawed undergoes to answer the questions – Who is my father? Whom am I to obey? – that animates, and finally necessitates, The Oblate’s Confession.
While entirely a work of fiction, the novel’s background is historically accurate: all the kings and queens named really lived, all the political divisions and rivalries actually existed, and each of the plagues that visit the author’s imagined monastery did in fact ravage that long-ago world. In the midst of a tale that touches the human in all of us, readers will find themselves treated to a history of the “Dark Ages” unlike anything available today outside of textbooks and original source material.
About the Author
William Peak spent ten years researching and writing The Oblate’s Confession, his debut novel. Based upon the work of one of the great (if less well known) figures of Western European history, the Venerable Bede, Peak’s book is meant to reawaken an interest in that lost and mysterious period of time sometimes called “The Dark Ages.” Peak received his baccalaureate degree from Washington & Lee University and his master’s from the creative writing program at Hollins University. He works for the Talbot County Free Library on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Thanks to the column he writes for The Star Democrat about life at the library (archived at http://www.tcfl.org/peak/), Peak is regularly greeted on the streets of Easton: “Hey, library guy!”
The Oblate’s Confession Blog Tour Schedule
Review at Broken Teepee
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Interview at Back Porchervations
Review at A Book Geek
Interview at Forever Ashley
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review at The Never-Ending Book
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Review at Library Educated
Review & Interview at Words and Peace
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Review at Impressions in Ink