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The Book of Love

The Book of Love

A Novel

  • reading group guide
Journalist Maureen Pascal receives a mysterious package from an anonymous source. It appears to be an ancient document written in Latin and signed in code by a ? famous woman in the eleventh century, Matilda of Tuscany. .

History has overlooked—or covered up—Matilda, but Maureen realizes the significance of the document and a new search begins. Matilda’s long-hidden scrolls demand the return of her “most precious books and documents” to the Abbey of Orval—the same Abbey from which the prophecy of the Expected One originated. Maureen plunges into the search for the Book of Love, the gospel written in Jesus’ own hand, and begins to see the eerie connections between herself and Matilda. .

Expertly researched with dazzling plot twists, The Book of Love is a spiritual thriller sure to delight readers as they follow Maureen across Europe as she uncovers secrets and shines light on the hidden corners of Christianity..
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 544 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416531708 | 
  • February 2010
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List Price $31.99
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Video

Meet Bestselling Novelist Kathleen McGowan

Kathleen McGowan introduces her new spiritual thriller "The Book of Love," based on Mathilda of Canossa.

Reading Group Guide

For Discussion

1. When Maureen begins having dreams about The Book of Love, she immediately plans to embark upon a search for the sacred text. What factors motivate Maureen in her quest?

2. What similarities does Maureen share with Matilda of Tuscany and the other Expected Ones? Compare and contrast Maureen’s and Matilda’s roles as Expected Ones within the context of their respective eras, taking into account religious, social, and political factors.

3. Discuss the symbolism of the labyrinth. What does Isobel hope to illustrate by recounting the “labyrinth legend” (133) to Matilda? In what ways does the legend mirror events that take place in Matilda’s life?

4. In medieval times, women were “pawns in the affairs of men, with no right to choose in their own future” (133). How was Matilda able to overcome the limitations imposed on women in that era? How was she not? Why was Matilda able to earn the adulation of her soldiers, which Conn asserts “was not in spite of the fact that she was a woman, but because she was a woman”?

5. Maureen and Berenger parted ways under strained circumstances two years earlier, and she admits that while she’s attracted to him she has concerns about his reputation as a playboy. What ultimately brings them together? How does knowing that Berenger is the bearer of his own legacy as a Poet Prince see more

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About the Author

Kathleen McGowan
Photo Credit: Dana Tynan

Kathleen McGowan

Kathleen McGowan is an internationally published writer whose work has appeared on five continents and in at least fifteen languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three sons. You can visit her website at www.theexpectedone.com.

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