Holy Fools (Harris, Joanne)

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9780060559120: Holy Fools (Harris, Joanne)

Forced by circumstance to seek refuge with Fleur, her young daughter, in the remote abbey of Saint Marie-de-la-Mer, Juliette reinvents herself as Soeur Auguste under the tutelage of the kindly Abbess. But times are changing: the murder of Henri IV becomes the catalyst for massive upheaval in France. A new appointment is made, and Juliette's new life begins to unravel. For the new Abbess is Isabelle, the eleven-year-old child of a corrupt and noble family. Worse, Isabelle has brought with her a ghost from Juliette's past, masquerading as a cleric, a man she has every reason to fear...

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Product Description:

In seventeenth-century France, against a backdrop of witch trials, regicide and religious frenzy, Juliette, one-time actress and rope-dancer, seeks refuge with her young daughter in the remote abbey of Saint Marie-de-la-Mer, and reinvents herself as Soeur Auguste.

Until a new Abbess is appointed, bringing with her a ghost from Juliette's past, a man she has every reason to fear.

Review:

Holy Fools is Joanne Harris's most enjoyable novel yet, a beautifully detailed and sharply observed piece that emotionally moves the reader unlike anything she has tackled before. The immense success of Chocolat and Coastliners has made Harris one of the most cherished authors at work today, and each new book is something of an event.

Holy Fools is set in 17th century France, and the central character is Juliette, a former actress and rope dancer who has given up her travelling life to become a teaching nun at a remote abbey. Juliette has settled with her young daughter into an existence very different from that she knew, and she finds comfort from the advice of the wise and friendly abbess.

Harris brilliantly delineates both phases of her heroine's life: the colourful earlier era and the new demands of the semi-cloistered life. Things change radically when the abbess dies and her place is taken by an 11-year-old girl whose appetite for reform quickly destroys much that Juliet has come to love in her new life. What makes the book so refreshingly original is not just the unusual structure (the heroine's dual life alone is handled with radiant detail), but the surprising new trajectory the narrative takes after the death of the abbess, as everything Juliette was used to begins to go wrong.

We become involved in every minor crisis, however much we question that the religious life is the answer to her problems. Juliette is a brilliantly drawn character, and the plotting of this ambitious novel is both thoughtful and invigorating, while the basic theme--the ploys we all use to distract ourselves from the painful realities of existence--is handled with subtlety. --Barry Forshaw

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Harris, Joanne
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Book Description William Morrow, 2004. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: With her internationally bestselling novels Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, and Coastliners, Joanne Harris has woven intoxicating spells that celebrate the sensuous while exposing the passion, secrets, and folly beneath the surface of rustic village life. In Holy Fools, her most ambitious and accomplished novel to date, she transports us back to a time of intrigue and turmoil, of deception and masquerade. In the year 1605, a young widow, pregnant and alone, seeks sanctuary at the small Abbey of Sainte Marie-de-la-mer on the island of Noirs Moustiers off the Brittany coast. After the birth of her daughter, she takes up the veil, and a new name, Soeur Auguste. But the peace she has found in re-mote isolation is shattered five years later by the events that follow the death of her kind benefactress, the Reverend Mother. When a new abbess -- the daughter of a corrupt noble family elevated by the murder of King Henri IV -- arrives at Sainte Marie-de-la-mer, she does not arrive alone. With her is her personal confessor and spiritual guide, Pere Colombin, a man Soeur Auguste knows all too well. For the newcomer is Guy LeMerle, a charlatan and seducer now masquerading as a priest, and the one man she fears more than any other. Soeur Auguste has a secret. Once she was l'Ailee, "The Winged One," star performer of a troupe led by LeMerle, before betrayal forced her to change her identity. But now the past has found her. Before long, thanks to LeMerle, suspicion and debauchery are breeding like a plague within the convent's walls -- fueled by dark rumors of witchcraft, part of the false priest's brilliantly orchestrated scheme of revenge. To protect herself and her beloved child, l'Ailee will have to perform one last act of dazzling daring more audacious than any she has previously attempted. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060559128

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Book Description William Morrow, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Signed by Author(s) 0060559128 First Print. Signed in person by the author directly on the title page. NOT inscribed, clipped or otherwise marked. Dust jacket in protective cover and shipped in a box. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-8875799849

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Book Description William Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, NY, U.S.A., 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First Edition, First Printing. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Signed by author in black fountain ink on title page. Author of CHOCOLAT, FIVE QUARTERS OF THE ORANGE, COASTLINERS, JIGS & REELS and GENTLEMEN & PLAYERS. New, unread copy, in fine, mylar-protected dust jacket. L27. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 10450

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