Wilcock, Penelope. The Hawk and the Dove. Crossway, 2000.
I first read Wilcock's The Hawk and the Dove when I was a little girl, but although this reading was at least my third, it never grows old. The Hawk and the Dove is a short frame novel, set partly in recent modern times, where a young girl named Melissa, struggling with her faith, friends, and school, turns to her mother for stories that will encourage and support her. These stories are set in a fourteenth-century monastery, where the monks governed by protagonist Father Peregrine face trials, triumphs, and everyday life. Wilcock's book (and its two sequels, included in this edition) teaches faith, courage, and perseverance; her monks, though devout, are flawed and human, and the lessons Melissa learns will benefit nearly any reader. This book is my second-favourite book of all time; it's short and moves quickly, can be easily read as short stories over a longer span of time, or in a single sitting (I find it difficult to set down!). It would work well for a Bible study or devotional, and makes a perfect gift, partly because it's a surprisingly unnoticed book, even in the world of Christian fiction.
Buy The Hawk and the Dove; read The Hawk and the Dove; give The Hawk and the Dove to your friends. There are very few books I would recommend so strongly.