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The Lost Book of the Grail


The Lost Book of the Grail

With a name like Arthur, is it any surprise that Arthur Prescott has spent most of his life in pursuit of the Holy Grail? His grandfather first inspired him to seek it, but it didn’t take much to convince him. And he hasn’t had to go far; if he’s right, it resides near Barchester, where he teaches English at the University. When he isn’t teaching, he escapes to the peace and quiet of the Barchester Cathedral Library, where he can surround himself with ancient manuscripts, a pastime of which he is most fond. Sitting among those books, he feels comforted and content.

But then one day, Arthur arrives to find a chatty American setting up equipment for the purpose of digitizing all of the manuscripts, whatever that means. Arthur is a bit foggy on that concept. Frankly, although he will admit that this Bethany creature is quite beautiful, she annoys him to his core. If you ask his friends, Oscar and David, though, they don’t believe it is annoyance that Arthur feels when Bethany is around.

"THE LOST BOOK OF THE GRAIL is a fun, smart, engrossing story that will have you learning history without even realizing it."

The American woman will be in Barchester for a number of weeks, so Arthur had better get used to her. It seems that the cathedral is in need of costly repairs, so the digital copies may be all they will have left, because it may become necessary to sell off the valuable manuscripts in order to save the building. Arthur begins a frantic attempt to find some other way. He has meticulously studied the history of Barchester. The story of St. Ewolda has fascinated him nearly his entire life. It is said that she had healing powers, and might even have had a connection to the Grail. So how can Arthur prove it? And if he, by some miracle, figures out how to prove it, will that be enough to save the library’s treasures?

Another thing worrying Arthur is whether or not he can trust Bethany with his lifelong secret, for his grandfather made him promise not to tell a soul about his quest. Well, as the old saying goes, two heads are better than one. Or, if you include Oscar and David, four heads. Eventually, the friends pool their resources and work together to decode a manuscript and follow the clues they find in it. Where it leads them is nothing less than stunning.

There is much to love about an adventure such as this. Besides the ever-unfolding discovery of one answer after another, intertwined in Arthur’s story is the history of Barchester and its saint, Ewolda. While author Charlie Lovett admits that both of these are fictional, the history he weaves into their story is very real, and he brings it alive with wonderful dimension. For mystery fans, a little romance creeps in so subtly and with such humor that it seems Arthur’s future wouldn’t be right without Bethany to set him on his true path. Their repartee is sharp and intelligent, yet honest and --- most importantly --- highly entertaining. It will be a challenge for readers not to care deeply for these characters, and not to mourn when the book comes to its exciting end.

THE LOST BOOK OF THE GRAIL is a fun, smart, engrossing story that will have you learning history without even realizing it.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on March 3, 2017

The Lost Book of the Grail
by Charlie Lovett

  • Publication Date: February 27, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • ISBN-10: 0399562532
  • ISBN-13: 9780399562532