Dissolution – C J Sansom

That was the title of the Book that the Book Group were discussing and while the obvious was indeed the case, it was set during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537.  The title also proved to be very true with regard to the people of the time and the characters in the novel.  Written by C J Sansom it is the first in the series of novels about Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer and supporter of the Reformation who is given the task by Cromwell of finding out what has been going on in the Monastery at Scarnsea in Kent.

Basically it is a ‘who done it?’ however it is also far more than that, as a historical novel it is well written and researched, it is also peppered with theology and the angst of trying to discern what God’s will actually is.  It is a human tale about a community of monks, their servants, Shardlake and his assistant and while it is set in the 16th century the tales it tells are as true and relevant today.  Power and money change people, they bring about corruption and deceit, and even when a cause seems right epiphanies can happen which turn everything upside down.

If you are looking for some light reading all of the Book Group would recommend it, if you know little about the period and are not really into reading heavy tombs on history, you will learn much as you follow Shardlake around the monastery cloisters and try like him to discover who murdered Robin Singleton.

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