Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Maid by Kimberly Cutter

Title/Author: The Maid by Kimberly Cutter
Publisher/Date published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 18th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "It is the fifteenth century and the tumultuous Hundred Years War rages on. France is under siege, English soldiers tear through the countryside destroying all who cross their path, and Charles VII, the uncrowned king, has neither the strength nor the will to rally his army. And in the quiet of her parents’ garden in Lorraine, a peasant girl sees a spangle of light and hears a powerful voice speak her name. Jehanne.
The story of Jehanne d'Arc, the visionary and saint who believed she had been chosen by God, who led an army and saved her country, has captivated our imagination for centuries. But the story of Jeanne - the girl - whose sister was murdered by the English, who sought an escape from a violent father and a forced marriage, who taught herself to ride and fight, and who somehow found the courage and tenacity to convince first one, then two, then thousands to follow her, is at once thrilling, unexpected and heart-breaking. Rich with unspoken love and battlefield valor, The Maid is a novel about the power and uncertainty of faith, and the exhilarating and devastating consequences of fame."

I REALLY wanted to love this book. Really, I did. Because I am fascinated by the tragic story of Joan of Arc and had learned a little about her in another historical romance novel I read (The Lady of the Rivers, which was awesome by the way!). But something was missing for me.

I think it was the fact that I never connected with Jehanne. I felt so disconnected that I didn't feel her joy or her fear or really anything. I didn't really get why everyone was so impressed with her either based on this book. I mean, if someone where to come up to me and tell me she was send by voices to take back France, I'd say 'U-huh, forgot to take your cray-cray pills?'. But I know one person can convince a LOT of people even if you go 'wait, what?' at what they're saying, I mean we've seen it often enough in history. But I just didn't believe from this novel Jehanne was the person to do this. The only thing the author mentioned what happened that made people follow her was that she put her 'godvoice' on. This was not convincing to me.

I did think that we followed Jehanne through it all and I think that the added bit of her telling it when she is in prison gave it a little extra something. I also liked that Cutter gave Jehanne feeling I would expect from a girl her age, especially about boys. I mean, sure divine coaching is amazing, but how about the earthly needs?

I did like learning more about this amazing historical figure and wondering if she indeed actually heard the voice of god and his angels or if she was what we nowadays would lable as schizofrenic. I do believe that Jehanne is a tragic figure and a great crime has been done against her.

My rating: 2,5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I really hate when I can't connect with the heroine of the story :( particularly in this case I think it was very important :)

    Too bad the connection wasn't there.