Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard” as Want to Read:
The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Among the young women of 12th century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God. But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever.

Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Nôtre Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Gallery Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Sharp Hook of Love, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Clarissa Yes, I have. You can read my review, if you like.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  233 ratings  ·  89 reviews

More filters
Sort order
God knows I never sought anything in you except yourself. I wanted simply you, nothing of yours.
----Héloïse d'Argenteuil, a 12th-century French nun, writer, scholar, and abbess, best known for her love affair and correspondence with Pierre Abélard

As the author, Sherry Jones, an international best-seller author says in her note at the end of her book, The Sharp Hook of Love that though this is a fictional story but Heloise and Abelard's love affair is not like fictional characters Romeo and
Nov 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Sherry Jones' The Sharp Hook of Love needs no introduction. Seriously folks, this book is all over the net and I'm not sure that's a good thing. Overexposure nearly caused me to burn out before I'd started the first page and though Gallery Books kindly provided me an advanced edition for review, I'd seen so much of the piece that I honestly considered declining to offer commentary altogether. The exceedingly aggressive promo
Nov 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting:12th Century France
2-1/2 Stars.

Heloise d'Argenteuil tells her story of how she met the brilliant headmaster of the Notre Dame Cloister school, Pierre Abelard. It was dangerous for a woman meant for the convent and a man who's future was to become a priest to meet let alone have their passion for each other grow. But grow it does and quickly, and when Heloise conceives their child they secretly marry. Situations happen and others wont allow these two happiness, so Heloise takes her vows a
I"m having a hard time with this one. I'm trying very hard not to judge the story through a contemporary lens but man, it's hard. The book is well written and the language is beautiful, but boy I would have loved to step back in time and smack some sense in to the heroine. Our 'hero' is vain, rakish, and completely self-serving. Our heroine is supposed to be the most learned lady of her time. Her intellect is known throughout France, but we don't see much evidence of this in the story. Once they ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
4.5 stars. "The Sharp Hook of Love" is a historical fiction story that surrounds the lives of real-life star-crossed lovers, Heloise and Abelard. It is hard to think of a couple with a story that is both filled with equal amounts of romance and tragedy. Heloise and Abelard have sometimes been called the real-life Romeo and Juliet but in this humble reader's opinion, their story may be even more tragic and more heart wrenching. Historical lovers may be familiar with the story of Heloise and Abela ...more
Kate Eminhizer
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Passionate, captivating, spell-binding, thought provoking. Sherry Jones does a phenomenal job at weaving primary sources in with her own vivid imagination. The use of first person narrative provides an intense relationship between the reader and the characters.You will feel their love and their joy. You will feel their pain and their sorrow. You will find topics of discussion throughout. This is not just a flippant love story, but one that truly captures the essence of the culture that Heloise a ...more
Colleen Turner
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sharp Hook of Love might be one of the most poetic and beautifully written novels I have read in quite some time. I found myself rereading passages out loud just to hear them spoken. The way the author included quotes from the lovers' letters to each other really helped solidify not only the ardent love they experienced but the hurt, fear and confusion that came from going against the destinies set before them and the political, religious and societal norms and rules they were breaking at ev ...more
Patricia Osborne
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Being blessed with the honor to be one of Sherry's Sirens. I had the opportunity to read ARC The Sharp Hook of Love. Indeed the name itself speaks volumes. This novel is thought provoking and intense read. What a love story! Such sacrifice and passion. Sherry brings it all to life.

One of many passages in the novel struck and intense cord in me. This one in particular "Women -- daughters of Eve!" he cried. "Nay, you are Eve, the gateway of the devil. The one who unsealed the curse of the for-bid
The Just-About-Cocky Ms M
Nov 21, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of alleged historical romance novels who can't tell dross from gold.
Recommended to The Just-About-Cocky Ms M by: My desire to trash any novel relentlessly hyped by Goodreads
I read this in 2014, and it was such a dreadful book on every conceivable level that I couldn't decide how to write a review of this mess. Even after four-plus years it still remains the book with the most comments--243--and highlights--331--of any Kindle book I've read.

The writing is pure schlock--one overheated metaphor after another, and dialogue syrupy enough to make your teeth ache. The two characters, Heloise and Abelard, bear no resemblance whatever to their historical selves, and their s
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was my introduction to the star-crossed love story of Heloise d'Argenteuil and Pierre Abelard (aka the original Romeo and Juliet). I had not heard of this 12th century french couple before so I was in for some frustrating moments.

I had mixed feelings about the story throughout the whole reading. The couple's love and passion for each other were in abundance - evident in some steamy scenes. But, the social norms that the couple had to endure during their life conflicted in regards to their
Erin Al-Mehairi
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Historical author Sherry Jones is one of the most lyrical, poetic writers of historical and biographical fiction that exists. In all my reading of historical fiction, I’ve rarely seen anyone write sentences with the emotion, depth of feeling, and silky sounding, dripping with detail sentences as Sherry does. As well, her character development, of which usually one is many times in first person, is so dimensional that the historical people come vividly to life.

Her newest book, The Sharp Hook of L
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was thrilled when offered the opportunity to participate in the book tour for The Sharp Hook of Love. Since I can remember Heloise and Abelard’s story has always painfully fascinated me. I was even more elated to learn Sherry Jones decided to write her interpretation of this celebrated couple (I was curious when a gifted author would take the leap). Heloise and Abelard, known for their love affair and for the tragedy separating them.

In my opinion their love story is the most tragic in history.
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Source: Free copy from Simon and Schuster and France Book Tours in exchange for a review.
“To forbid the fruit only sweetens its flavor”
Among the young women of 12th century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God.
But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Nôtre Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philoso
I received an ARC of this novel as part of a book blog tour that I participated in. This review in its entirety was originally posted at

The Sharp Hook of Love invites the reader into the story of Abelard and Heloise and the world they live in from the very first page. I love how the story is narrated from Heloise’s perspective as her backstory and circumstances were interesting and has potential for drama and obstacles (namely in the
Angela Smith
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, romance
Even with my love of history, the real life story of Abelard and Heloise had eluded me until reading this book. Although this is of course, a work of fiction, it is part fact as well, of the lovers Pierre Abélard and Héloïse d’Argenteuil. They lived over 900 years ago and that that love is still remembered is perhaps a testament to it.

Héloïse was a rare woman of her times. She was well educated and with an intelligent mind. This was something definitely not encouraged in the 1100's! Pierre Abéla
Maggie Chatterton
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
The Sharp Hook of Love by Sherry Jones is a powerful, gripping account of a 12th century tragic romance: Heloise and Abelard - the original Romeo and Juliet.
When I first picked up this book, I did hold my doubts about it since it was 12th century and about a tragic love but now I can honestly admit that I am ashamed for my doubts of such a beautifully written novel.

At the beginning of every chapter holds excerpts from letters between the couple.
Here are a few that I loved
Love does not so easi
Nov 19, 2013 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cel Jel
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Sharp Hook of Love had me getting back to reading when I should be doing other things. I just had to see if Abelard would wake up to himself. Written in three parts, you have a love story with a background of characters whose rigidity to rules and desire to exercise power shows no sympathy. The first part I found the hardest to read, the anger I felt towards one of the pair of lovers kept growing throughout the book. There is the sharp hook, for all that is resolved at the end, where acknowl ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have spent much time revising this review. I can not fully express how this book touched me. I felt every emotion from elation to disgust. I rarely give a book five stars. It has to fulfill my need of feeling like a fly on the wall watching it all happen, as well as not so much fluff that I am skimming pages to get to the story. I want to feel the happiness and the pain of those the author is writing about.

Ms Jones fulfilled that need with her latest book. I was the fly on the wall as Abelard
Andrea Zuvich
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My nose is dripping, my face is completely tear-stained, and I haven't cried this much in a long time. Crikey, what an emotional rollercoaster this book turned out to be. I'll be honest, I actively avoided reading this book because it was promoted like crazy (too much, and that put me right off) and also I had been very interested in Abelard and Heloise in my teens and was hesitant to read a historical novel about them because of this. I'm no medievalist, granted, but I think the main characters ...more
Lynn Grier
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
All history buffs will enjoy this story of Heloise and Abelard. Sherry will draw you into the story from the beginning on. There will be feelings of joy and sadness but most of all the culture Sherry brings to the story is amazing. This is a captivating book you won't want to miss.
I was given this ARC copy for my comments. Thanks Gallery books.
Rebecca Kanner
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Heloise is the sort of heroine you cannot help rooting for: both brilliant and naïve, vulnerable and tough, and sweet but with a tongue sharper than an ax. THE SHARP HOOK OF LOVE will have you up all night in 12th century Paris, rooting for our stubbornly hopeful heroine and holding your breath as you turn each page.
Kevin Marsh
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I knew a little about Abelard and Heloise, but now I feel as if they have become old friends. A recommended read for those interested in tales of the heart or if your interest include medieval thinking regarding equality between the sexes.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
All it takes is a “chance” meeting and serenade to ignite a love affair so fierce and passionate, it would inspire many forbidden tales of love centuries to come.

The Sharp Hook of Love tells the thought-provoking, captivating, heartbreaking, and intensely passionate story of world renowned eleventh century French philosopher Petrus “Pierre” Abelard and his student, Heliose d’ Argenteuil. Told achingly through Heloise’s point of view, the love affair begins slowly, until it morphs into a love so
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sherry Jones had me gripped throughout this entire novel. My attention was captured, interest complete, breath bated. Basically, The Sharp Hook of Love should come with a warning sticker, "Are you a romantic at heart? Do you long for that fantasy storybook love? Well, be warned, it is all here in beautifully written prose which may cause heart palpitations and swooning unlike anything you have known before!" You see, I have always been fascinated with their love story. According to the history b ...more
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm just getting into this book. I like historical fiction mostly because of the detailed research writers must do to present a valid picture of the times. So far Jones seems to be getting it right.

My final comments on "The Sharp Hook of Love" continue in a positive vein. Following up on her excellent historical novels, "The Jewel of Medina," "The Sword of Medina," and "Four Sisters, All Queens," Jones continues to bring us the stories of, the often ignored strong female characters from our long
The Lit Bitch
I will agree with another reviewer, this book has been everywhere! I have seen it promoted all over the place so I simply had to know what the big deal was because it has literally been EVERYWHERE.

Based on a true story, this novel has a lot going for it as a historic romance/fiction read, but is still a little rough around the edges.

I found this book a little bumpy to start with, which is unusual for me. In my experience, the beginning of the book is typically more structured and detailed since
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this beautiful novel yesterday.I loved it!I agree with the most of you who reviewed this book,however,there are some critique points which I need to talk about.
I saw some of you critiqued the writer ,for not going deeper into description of the time period Abelard and Heloise lived.I, personally didn't feel like reading about it and was very happy just to stay on track of the story line.I wanted to read about this beautiful love story and that's exactly what I got.Honestly, could c
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Western and Medie...: The Sharp Hook of Love Pre-Pub Giveaway! 3 13 Aug 04, 2014 02:20PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Taking The Cross
  • The Siren of Paris
  • The Queen's Rivals
  • Becoming Josephine
  • The Cross and the Dragon
  • The Shadow Queen
  • Anvil of God (The Carolingian Chronicles, #1)
  • Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (Ladies in Waiting, #3)
  • Le Fantôme de la rue Royale
  • The Sword of the Maiden (The Watchmen Saga #2)
  • The Queen's Lover
  • Minette
  • The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte
  • The Holy Lance (The English Templars #1)
  • The Summer of France
  • The Song Peddler of the Pont Neuf
  • Unravelled: Two Wars. Two Affairs. One Marriage.
  • I, Jacqueline
See similar books…
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Sherry Jones is an American journalist and internationally best selling author of the controversial "The Jewel of Medina" and other historical fiction novels about women's power. She is also a speaker on issues including women's rights, free speech, and Islamophobia.

Her forthcoming novel, JOSEPHINE BAKER'S LAST
“I placed a bowl of herbs and ointments in the window of my bedroom, and let the scented breeze carry him away . . .” 4 likes
“With him, I became utterly myself as never before - and, to my astonishment, when I looked into his eyes like mirrors reflecting myself back to me, I admired the person I beheld there.” 3 likes
More quotes…