Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Theo and Matilda by Rachel Billington


DATE READ: January 2010

NOTES: The book is made up of four different Theos and Mathildas across the years. The first part is in the late 8th century – a monk and abbess build a church for a monastery6 in the West Country. But their love is never consummated. Then the Vikings arrive….

Then in the 16th century Matilda is a widow of a brutish nobleman and Theo is a monk. The abbey is taken over by Henry VIII and many of its artefacts and books are destroyed. After the dissolution of the monastery Theo and Matilda marry and live together in the adjoining manor house.

In the same manor house in the late 19th century Theo is a Darwinian keeper of snakes and Matilda a mother of seven. (A not very credible section) As the family fortunes decline the house is handed over to a local doctor to use an as asylum – Abbeyfields. Then later another two patients fall in love in the mental hospital…. No prizes for guessing their names.

The book ends with a young couple moving into a new housing estate built in the hospital grounds. They find some Anglo-Saxon documents thus linking them with the past.

A pleasant enough read but nothing special.

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