The Monk Book Review

Love (or lust, couched as love), can change us in unexpected ways. Add in religion to the mix and trouble is likely to be on the horizon.

In the 1796 novel, The Monk, by Matthew Lewis, is set in Madrid. Ambrosio, the Abbot of a Capuchin monastery is known his community as a pious, respectable and chaste man. That is, until he meets a teenage girl who gets the snake out the cage. Lust and desire for this girl takes over, which leads to rape, murder and a whole host of unsavory activities.

Jane Austen fans, especially those who have read Northanger Abbey, will surely be familiar with this book as Austen satirizes The Monk and other Gothic fiction that was popular in her day.

I will say that The Monk is not an easy read for modern readers. It was published in the style that was standard for the genre and the period. However, I found myself lost in the story and I almost put it down. That being said, there are underlying themes and narratives which still resonate today, which I suppose is one of the reasons why we keep reading this book.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

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