My Favorite Books: The Cadfael series, by Ellis Peters
I love some books for the stories. I love some for the insights. I love some for the beauty of the language. But the books I love most are for the characters — or, rather, the character. He is Cadfael.
Cadfael is a Benedictine monk, of all things, who lives in twelfth-century England at the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury. He is featured in a series of twenty mystery novels and three short stories by Ellis Peters, the pen name of Edith Pargeter, a medieval historian. Cadfael solves mysteries using his experience as a knight in the Crusades, his medical knowledge, and his insight into human nature.
But mysteries aren’t the point; the point is the character. Cadfael is friend, parent, mentor — the ideal companion. I’m working on my third reading of the series, savoring the time spent with my favorite character and, of course, with Edith Pargeter, whose spirit shines through her marvelous creation.