What's fascinating about this book is the history. Margery of Kemp (the Maidservant's mistress) is a historical person who actually did make pilgrimage to Rome and who wrote the first autobiography in the English language. The maidservant has a compelling voice and harrowing adventures -- worth reading!
Once you get through the first few pages, you think "oh. okay. that's cool, I geuss." But when you keep reading on, it gets more interesting! I mean, how could it not, with all the incidents that happen throught the book? This is a must-read. Actually, I'm reading a lot of historical fiction lately. Ah well, I geuss I shouldn't be reading that many realistic fiction books anyways.
I grabbed this at the local library because I always need something to listen to while cooking or housekeeping. I'm really glad I did! Rebecca Barnhouse read The Book of Margery Kempe and noted Dame Margery's complaints about her young maidservant while on pilgrimage in the early fifteenth century. Barnhouse decided to tell the story from the beleaguered maidservant's point of view. This results in an entertaining, sometimes harrowing, and ultimately satisfying piece of historical fiction. This book is aimed at younger readers, but, as it is well-written and researched, it can be enjoyed by adult readers as well.
The narrator of this audio-book, Susan Duerden, does a fine job (although she can't do a Welsh accent to save her life).
I'll be on the watch for Rebecca Barnhouse's other books.
Barnhouse’s vivid portrayal of medieval life sets the stage for this story of hardship and personal growth. As the author’s note states, Barnhouse created Johanna out of a fascination with the maligned maidservant portrayed in Dame Margery Kempe’s autobiography. In telling the story from this new perspective, Barnhouse has created a strong-willed, hard-working female character that will inspire girls with her fiery personality. A great read for those who enjoy historical fiction and the middle ages.
princess555 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages
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