Kirsten Pinto Gfroerer, Anchorhold: Corresponding with Revelations of Divine Love, Eugene Oregon: Cascade Books, 2021

A review by Father Luke Penkett, OJN, CJN, and Friend of Julian

This is a book of letters addressed to Julian of Norwich regarding her Revelations of Divine Love. Julian teaches about the love of God fully revealed in His Son’s Crucifixion and Resurrection and the knowledge that in the end ‘All shall be well.’ The author of these letters seeks to understand Julian’s teaching by engaging heart and soul with what Julian has written. She asks questions, she looks for answers to what is quoted at the top of each letter – but the author offers no answers; those are for the reader of Anchorhold to provide themselves.

This is a clever piece of writing. Its eighty-six letters open up Julian’s text beautifully, providing a way into Revelations that, perhaps, we haven’t thought of ourselves. And this is no bad thing. It struggles, as we struggle, with the suffering of our world in the twenty-first century, revealing something of our own human nature and vocation.

We are challenged. We are challenged by the invitation, as St Thomas was, to enter into Christ’s wounds, and that is no small challenge. Do we trust ourselves enough, do we trust God enough, to do so?

If we do, then we can be nourished during the dark times in our lives. Without being a theological book, it is full of theological reflection and engages us in our reflection on what is written and what is left unsaid.

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