The Lost Book of the Grail

Arthur Prescott is happily ensconced in his life in Barchester, England, teaching at the university, spending untold hours in the library working on his never-finished guidebook to Barchester Cathedral, and continuing his secret search for the Holy Grail. But the sudden arrival of Bethany Davis, an attractive young American who has been charged with digitizing the library's manuscripts, upends Arthur's world. Prepared to defend his beloved library against the onslaught of digital technology, Arthur is shocked to find that Bethany's passion for books--and the Grail--equals his own. The unlikely pair embark on a twofold quest: searching for the Grail and for the lost Book of Ewolda, which contains the story of the cathedral's patron saint. Charlie Lovett spins a fascinating literary and historical mystery in The Lost Book of the Grail.

Lovett (First Impressions) anchors his story in the present day, but deftly interweaves flashbacks from multiple historical eras--the night in 1941 when Nazi bombs hit the cathedral library; the origins of St. Ewolda's story in A.D. 560. Bethany's sunny optimism provides a nice foil for Arthur's crusty skepticism, and Lovett explores the nature of faith and doubt while unraveling the long history of the cathedral and its treasures. Supporting characters like Gwyneth the cathedral dean are a delight, and the ending, while tidy, is entirely satisfying. For bibliophiles, Grail enthusiasts and anyone who loves a good quest, Arthur's story is a rich, erudite and entertaining adventure. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

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