Graven Images: A Verillan Chronicles Book 2 (Bk. 2) (The Averillan Chronicles)

Barbara Reichmuth Geisler

Published by Lost Coast Press, 2005
ISBN 10: 1882897846 / ISBN 13: 9781882897841
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Excellent Ex-LibTrade PB: INTERIOR: Markings inside cover and/or fly leaf page-usually names or labels and library stamp bottom pg 13, NO other page markings, Very Clean, Tight, EXTERIOR: Light spine creasing, Lightly bumped corners, Light edge wear. Interior is excellent despite minor markings; Exterior has light minor wear. Most intl arrive 4-10 business days. Choose Expedited or 2 day for faster delivery. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: It is the year 1141, and the nuns of the Benedictine Abbey at Shaftesbury face new tribulations. The abbey is near bankrupt, threatening the completion of a much-needed altarpiece for St. Edward s chapel. Worse, the tranquility of the daily round of prayer and ritual is disrupted by the murder of Saviette, a maiden of the town. Suspicion falls on Master Levitas, who is a Jew and thus a ready target for the intolerant townsfolk. Convinced that Levitas could not have committed the crime, Master Hugo, brought to Shaftesbury to sculpt the altarpiece, befriends the old man. Dame Averilla, now the abbey sacrist, abhors the prejudice as well, and suspects that Jared, son of the abbey s reeve, is responsible for Saviette s death. Averilla, Hugo, and Abbess Emma must shelter the falsely accused Levitas while they discover the truth, lest chaos topple the rule of law.

Review: Abbess Emma, troubled by knowledge of the abbey steward's financial perfidy and wondering how she will pay for the new altar decoration, welcomes famous carver Hugo to Shaftesbury Abbey. It is 1140, a desolate time fraught with lawlessness, prejudice, and danger, so when a Young townswoman is found murdered blame falls on the only Jew around, the only Jew around, the same who lent money to the abbey. Hugo, Emma and sacrist Dame Averilla, however, defend the Jew, hoping to find the real killer before anarchy prevails. This followup to Other Gods (a Ben Franklin Award finalist) brings the Middle Ages to life with authentic, nitty-gritty detailing, picturesque surroundings and realistic characters. Geisler former head librarian for the SF Performing Arts Library and Museum, lives in Northern California. -- Library Journal, March 1, 2005

Graven Images is a superbly written historical novel/mystery on par with The Year of Wonder. The author has been a head librarian at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum, and her superior knowledge shows in the quality of her writing. Her story is about a Benedictine Abby in England of 1141 and the nuns and their supporting, surrounding community. A young woman of the village is found dead under suspicious circumstances. A Jewish goldsmith/money lender becomes the prime suspect. He also is the holder of a significant number of expensive loan notes to the Abby. An itinerant sculpture of Church art shelters the Jew until he can determine the true culprit. The title is apropos to the subject's Church art; however, it is also to the author's ability to craft visual descriptions of this medieval community. She paint's such realism and understanding on the canvas of her book pages with words that clearly describe what it was like to live in these times and conditions. The book is filled with characters who must rise above and beyond their routine to deal with the conflicts of life, politics, and Church hierarchy, which the author so craftily weaves into a tapestry of the story. We are shown the world views of a myriad of people-some uplifting and some superstitious and hateful. In all, this makes for a fascinating read. We scored it a high five hearts. -- Heartland Reviews, December,2004

This second book in the Averillan Chronicles series is set in 12'h century Shaftesbury, at the Benedictine Abbey of nuns. A young woman is murdered, and the people of the town decide that Master Levitas, the Jewish moneylender and goldsmith, is responsible. While this plot provides the backbone of the novel, it is an extraordinarily rich book with multiple storylines. The language and descriptions give a strong sense of the period, and the characters are fascinating. The abbess. Emma, is slowly growing into her position of authority and attempting to cope with the abbey's severe Financial problems. Several of the nuns are adjusting to changes in their responsibilities, and some English residents of Shaftesbury are still grappling with the loss of lands and wealth under the Normans. (While this book can be read independently, t highly recommend reading Other Cods first. which takes place one year earlier and provides full introductions to many of the characters ) The precarious position of Jews in medieval England is vividly portrayed. A fascinating subplot involves Master Hugo, a renowned artist who has come to the Abbey to undertake a commission, the young boy who travels with him, and Hugo's relationship with Levitas. Geisler provides very useful supplementary material: maps of the town and abbey; the seven offices of psalms, with their times; a cast of characters; a glossary; and u section explaining key elements of the story, arid where her fiction meets facts. The power this book held over me was such that I got up :n the middle of the night to finish it--I could --Historical Novels Review, Issue 33, August 2005

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Graven Images: A Verillan Chronicles Book 2 ...
Publisher: Lost Coast Press
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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