Hardback Matrix / Lauren Groff.
Publication year: 2021
Publisher: London : Hutchinson Heinemann,
Resource type: Physical
ISBN: 9781785151903 (hbk.) :
Originally published: New York: Riverhead Books.
Seventeen-year-old Marie, too wild for courtly life, is thrown to the dogs one winter morning, expelled from the royal court to become the prioress of an abbey. Marie is strange - tall, a giantess, her elbows and knees stick out, ungainly. At first taken aback by life at the abbey, Marie finds purpose and passion among her mercurial sisters. Yet she deeply misses her secret lover Cecily and queen Eleanor. Born last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, women who flew across the countryside with their sword fighting and dagger work, Marie decides to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. She will bring herself, and her sisters, out of the darkness, into riches and power.
260 pages ; 24 cm
This book is the imagined life of Marie de France, banished from Court to live her whole life in a nunnery. It is a celebration of the heroine's life and of women more generally: women's courage, strength, compassion and ingenuity. Characters are well drawn and you get a real sense of what life might have been like for a Medieval nun. However, I found the book more admirable than enjoyable. There are flashes of humour, but not many, and although a lot happens, there is not much tension in the plot: more just one thing following another.