Dove and Sword: A Novel of Joan of Arc (Point Signature)

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9780590929493: Dove and Sword: A Novel of Joan of Arc (Point Signature)

In 1455 in France, Gabrielle is visited by Pierre d'Arc, a brother of Joan of Arc, and with him reminisces about their childhood together in Domremy and Joan's subsequent trial and burning at the stake at Rouen twenty-four years before

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 7 Up?The "sword" refers to Joan of Arc, the feisty, impatient 17-year-old who?guided by the voices of saints?leaves her small village to free France from the English. The "dove" is a fictional teenager, Gabrielle, a friend of Joan's who uses her healing skills to aid French soldiers. Gabrielle is an intelligent, clever young woman who loves, mourns, ponders, and learns a great deal in the course of the novel. She narrates the story, which begins with Joan's first visions in 1425 and ends with her death by fire six years later. This is a fascinating and well-written historical novel, filled with rich details, evocative descriptions, and interesting characters. It is a masterly addition to the recent medieval fiction by Karen Cushman, Frances Temple, and others. However, there are minor problems. The map omits more than it includes and is poorly designed. Although most unfamiliar terms are defined in context, there are a few glaring exceptions. It's hard to keep track of the many characters, and some are carefully introduced only to suddenly vanish. Finally, not all of Garden's facts agree with established research on Joan, most notably the reasons she was burned at the stake. Dove and Sword is vastly superior to Barbara Dana's tedious novel, Young Joan (HarperCollins, 1991). Recommend Polly Brooks's outstanding biography Beyond the Myth (Lippincott, 1990) to readers who want more information about the saint.?Ann W. Moore, Guilderland Public Library, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Venturing far from the contemporary Brooklyn setting of her Annie on My Mind, Garden takes up the story of Joan of Arc-and proves that she is as compassionate and imaginative with the vagaries of 15th-century French history as with the problems of 20th-century gay teens. Wisely, she centers her novel on a fictional character, Gabrielle, who comes from the same village as "Jeannette" and who follows her into battle, serving as a medic. Accordingly Garden need not convince the reader that saints have spoken with Jeannette and sanctioned her mission; it suffices that Gabrielle believes this. Instead of emphasizing religion, the author brings into high relief the dramas of daily life in rural homes, in combat, in sheltered convents. Gabrielle, who serves as narrator, is essentially a modern creature-she chafes at the inferior status of women, wants a career as a healer, abhors war (Jeannette nicknames her "friend dove")-and her views act as a bridge between the reader and the unfamiliar mores of a remote past. While Garden fills her narrative with the ringing voices of soldiers proclaiming the glory of their campaigns, she employs Gabrielle's more cautious tones to send an anti-war message. Her strategically plotted novel achieves the highest goals of historical fiction-it vivifies the past, robustly and respectfully, then uses its example to steer the audience toward a more courageous future. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Nancy Garden
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