he first half, in keeping with the original letters, is entirely in Abelard’s voice; but Tongues reveals even more of the profound suffering Abelard endures as a monk. The second half of the book abruptly announces the present day. Heloise finally speaks; a tongue of fire has ignited her, and the truth she utters exposes Abelard’s absolutism as a desperate means to avoid more nuanced facts. Suddenly we are in Dublin, not Paris, the west of Ireland, Kerry and Clare, not Brittany. In this second half, Heloise reveals a hard-won sense of autonomy.