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The Maid

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3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  1,769 Ratings  ·  342 Reviews
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 hear ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 20th 2011 by Bloomsbury (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jenn (Booksessed)
Jun 20, 2011 Jenn (Booksessed) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was initially really excited about this title because I love historical fiction and can still remember an episode of Wishbone dealing with Joan of Arc. (Please tell me there is at least one person who remembers Wishbone, the cute little dog that imagines himself the main character in classic literature? I got a Jack Russell because of Wishbone.)

However, once I started this title, it became very apparent that it wasn’t for me. There were several instances of child abuse and even a moment where
...more
Misfit
Apr 22, 2011 Misfit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

Author Kimberly Cutter recounts the short life of Jeanne d'Arc (Jehanne here), The Maid of Orléans and later canonized as Saint Joan of Arc. This is one of those too complicated bits of history to try to explain in a review, and Wik can most definitely do it better than I can.

Joan's history is a fascinating one, and I've been eyeing novels on her for some time, so I was thrilled when this showed up on Net Galley. However, the book I read was very dry and the history itself is hard to fo
...more
Heather
Sep 08, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, amazon-vine
I went into The Maid knowing the Jehanne d’Arc story mostly from high school history class – and Luc Besson’s movie, The Messenger. I assumed this book would be a guilty pleasure – not necessarily something I’d want to read again, but fun, and hopefully only mildly irritating in its anachronism. After all, it’s hard to find a novel about a great woman in history that doesn’t insert modern sensibilities into the character’s mind, so I was bracing myself for a feminist re-write that down played Jo ...more
Erik
Aug 18, 2011 Erik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Maid was one of my spontenious book-buys. Saw it on a bookshelf in Heathrow Airport, realised it was a book about Joan of Arc, thought to myself that I knew less than I would like about her life and work and thus concluded that I should buy it.
It is a very readable book, written with the simplicity which is so characteristic of novels sold in airports during summer months. This simplicity, however, does not appear to effect the story itself, something which I personally felt was more the res
...more
Savonarola
May 03, 2011 Savonarola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's no reason on the surface for me to love "The Maid": I'm not a huge fan of Joan of Arc, I'm not a woman, I don't know a whole lot about the history of the period. But I think this is a novel that transcends all of the usual categories through the sheer power of its writing and the way it brings Jehanne, the illiterate peasant girl who changed history, to indelible life. The prose is clean, clear and lyrical in a way that you don't often see in historical fiction. It's not larded down with ...more
Sharon
Those who are seeking a tidied-up, romanticized tale of Jean d'Arc and the 100 Years' War would be well-advised to look elsewhere.

Kimberly Cutter brings us a gritty, realistic story about medieval warfare as she brings Jehanne, a young girl from Domremy (in the Lorraine) to life. Starting with Jehanne's childhood (including her sister's murder by the English), Cutter brings readers straight up through brutal battles, political intrigue both for and against Jehanne, and the girl's eventual execut
...more
Suzanne
May 21, 2011 Suzanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who liked "Blood Royal"/"The Queen's Lover" by Vanora Bennett
3.5 stars for this nice debut.

A very interesting read about Joanne of Arc, which mostly comes across as well researched.
(Having been to both Chinon and Loches myself I was excited to read about these places, though the descriptions of them were not very detailed which left me wondering if the author ever visited.)

The chapters are really short, which some people object to, but which I always kinda like, as it makes the book seem like a box of candy.
I've noticed another thing some people object to
...more
Tamora Pierce
Feb 26, 2012 Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, adult
I approached this book with some trepidation, since the only works about Joan I'd read (except Shaw's and Twain's) left me unhappy. I don't like anything that takes Joan's saints away from her, and one deep, abiding question I have--the question of Gilles de Rais, one of her great generals, later one of the most infamous mass murderers of children and the foundation for Bluebeard, burned at the stake himself for witchcraft and heresy--is never addressed in other works.

The story starts at the end
...more
Siobian
Set in the fifteenth century during the Hundred Years War, The Maid tells the story of Jehanne d'Arc (later known as Joan of Arc) as she sets out to fulfill her destiny. Jehanne has grown up in the French countryside and watched as English soldiers tear the country apart. When she is young, she begins hearing voices and seeing angels that tell her that she is the one who will save the France and return the exiled Dauphin to his throne. After overcoming enormous obstacles, she does just this but ...more
April Hochstrasser
l liked the quick pace and the short chapters. The author had access to a lot of research and the book could have become bogged down with historical detail and background, instead I got the sense of being in Jehanne's head, seeing and feeling what she did, understanding how everyone and everything looked to her.

This book was a perfect intro to a complex historical figure. I got a feeling for the limited ways women could be in that era. Jehanne was such a departure from the norm that she really s
...more
Merredith
I was almost hesitant to read this book because of some of the bad reviews. I'm confused as to those, because this was a great book! It's about Joan of Arc, called Jehanne, from when she starts hearing voices till she's executed. This is a sad story, but definitely leaves me wanting to research more about this remarkable woman. Even in present day, a poor woman with no education wouldn't be able to rise up and lead armies, but back then, when it was an executionable offense just for a woman to w ...more
Literary  Chanteuse
There were sections that dragged slightly with a little too much war and bickering(of course that is expected)yet other sections completely grabbed my attention. After recently reading a very thorough non-fiction about Joan this book felt like it was well researched. The closer look at her life from a personal point of view, emotions etc. was nicely done and overall worth reading even for those who are not a particular fan of Joan of Ark. For those who are what a delight!

I received a copy in exc
...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

Joan of Arc is a far-famed and widely recognized name, especially if you're a. Catholic or b. French. As a rebel, as a saint, and even as a peasant, this young girl captivated an entire country, following her 'voices' and fighting the English for freedom. Taglined with "the girl who led an army, the peasant who crowned a King, the maid who became a legend," Cutter sets the stage for her version of the world famous knight right from the get-go. I did
...more
Dione Sage
Found through Libboo The Maid ...The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc is in my opinion an excellent historical fiction with plenty of actual historical facts in it. Author Kimberly Cutter did a phenomenal job and capturing the story of the peasant girl, Jehanne d’Arc’s beautiful struggle. A woman would not have been treated with any real respect or dignity when it came to affairs that were considered a man’s work in the 1400’s but for a 17 yr old girl to leave all she knows because she truly believ ...more
Diana
Sep 15, 2011 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc by Kimberly Cutter is an intimate portrayal of Joan of Arc’s rise and fall from her pivotal role in the Hundred Years War. It begins with Jehanne d’Arc as a twelve year old girl from Domremy, France, whose father is the tax collector and king of the peasants, so to speak. Life at home is difficult for her; Jehanne, her mother, and brothers have to endure the patriarch’s violent outbursts. Her beautiful sister Catherine had been murdered, which is the possible cat ...more
Jo Barton
Dec 02, 2010 Jo Barton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting, and well written debut book, which focuses on the life of Jehanne d’Arc. The story begins, when as a child, Jehanne bewilders her peasant family by her religious zeal, and her ability to communicate directly with saints. Guided by her religious voices, Jehanne sets out to change the focus of European history, when, convinced that God has chosen her to restore power to the French, she embarks on a brutal, and courageous fight for glory.
Startlingly honest in its narrative,
...more
Karen morsecode
She looked up at her saints in the stained-glass windows, Saint Catherine, Saint Margaret, Saint Clare... those tall, sad, lovely women illuminated by the sun. She though of their enormous love for God, their heroic lives, their miracles. How they'd found a way to be bigger, better, to do good, fight evil, escape the mud, the smallness of life. She thought they were the luckiest people in the world. (32)

I've been fascinated by Joan of Arc since I first heard her story so I was quite excited to r
...more
Shea
Feb 12, 2016 Shea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After every section I forced myself to stop reading 'The Maid' so that I wouldn't stay up all night reading it and so that I could savor each part and delay ending the wonderful experience of reading this book! Sometimes the conversation seemed too modern day, but otherwise an excellent book!
Jennifer Kim
Jul 09, 2015 Jennifer Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We know the story. How it starts and how it ends. So, why bothering reading another book about Joan of Arc?

Well, this book superbly fills in the periods between the historically documented events.

~Spoiler Alert ~

This is a story of Jehanne whose beloved older sister is raped and murdered by the English. Their father grieved the death of his favorite child like a madman - screaming, sobbing at the sky, and hurling himself against trees. When he finally returned home, he slept. For a year.

When his
...more
M.L. Sparrow
Dec 23, 2015 M.L. Sparrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book knowing next to nothing about Jean of Arc and quickly found myself hooked on the story. It facinated me how a girl of seventeen could achieve so much, be so brave. However, though she was a brave and fierce leader, she started out as an uncertain girl, which I thought was good, because it made her seem human and relatable, rather than just the legend she has come to be. After all, despite the things she achieved, she was still just a girl.

The book was quite simply wri
...more
Bonnie
I think I found the wikipedia article on Joan of Arc more exciting than this book. It is far too modern in its speech/behaviors and the characters are far too flat.

It doesn't help that I just finished (finally) A Game of Thrones, and this book absolutely pales in comparison. This is almost a real-life version of Game of Thrones: different kings vying for the same throne, a child leading armies, massive intrigue and brutal deaths.

The real-life people of this story are as compelling and deep as a
...more
Victoria Costello
Feb 04, 2012 Victoria Costello rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Kimberly Cutter convincingly gets into Joan of Arc's head in this portrayal of her life from preteen to war hero to victim of the Inquisition and finally sainthood. I haven't read detailed accounts of her life before so I can't speak comparatively but I found myself surprised by the amount of detailed factual information available to Cutter which she explains in her epilogue she used faithfully as would a nonfiction author like Eric Larson (of In the Garden of the Beasts). I also found myself th ...more
Colleen Turner
Jan 20, 2012 Colleen Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reviewed this book for luxuryreading.com.

I think it’s fair to assume that most people have at least heard of Joan of Arc (or Jeanne d’Arc). We’ve read of or seen the movies depicting Jeanne on her divine mission to rid France of the invading English and put the rightful King on the throne. However I, for one, did not know the full story of where she came from and how she ended up a martyred saint of France.

The Maid by Kimberly Cutter has done a wonderful job of bringing Jeanne to life and givi
...more
Kim
Aug 21, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know much about Joan of Arc, so it was an interesting read. The author includes in the end what is true and what is fiction. Other than a little graphic, which it would be, it was written pretty well and very interesting. I couldn't help wanting a different ending for her.

In the end of the book, the author says that some think instead of hearing from her voices and dreams, she had epilepsy or schizophrenia. I can't speak to schizophrenia, but I can speak for epilepsy or migraines. My si
...more
Katie
Apr 27, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, I want to start off by saying that Joan of Arc is my patron saint and has been a symbol of inspiration and hope for me throughout my entire life. I really loved this book for it's accurate portrayal. I've seen a lot of negative reviews on here saying that her character was annoying, etc. I think the problem here is that today, we simply look at the fact that she is a saint. The truth is, she was a human being. She did in fact have a mission from God, however she was born a human and died ...more
Aimee
Jul 11, 2011 Aimee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Maid is the story of Joan of Arc, set in the 15th century during the 100 years war. Joan is born a peasant girl in the French country side. Throughout her years of growing up she watches the English murder and pillage and slowly destroy her country. As she gets older she begins to here voices and have visions. She is convinced she is supposed to save her country from the English and spends the rest of her days trying to fulfill her destiny.

I was really excited to read this book. I have never
...more
Cynthia Archer
Apr 24, 2012 Cynthia Archer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very good; it was actually better than I anticipated. I knew the rough tale of Joan of Arc, but it really came alive as the author used factual information and expanding it into a marvelous work of historic fiction. She used some interesting techniques in writing that I appreciated. One was breaking the book into many short chapters. For me this made the action move faster and kept the story from dragging with too much verbiage. She also chose to add the thoughts of Joan, or Jehann ...more
Christy B
A decent fiction novel about Joan of Arc (known here as Jehanne d'Arc). The writing flowed easily, and the descriptions were quite nice.

I liked the way 'the voices' that Joan heard were handled. It was conveyed that Joan was not off her rocker, and indeed heard what she thought were voices telling her to take up an army and take back her country. Despite the religious themes, the story wasn't preachy, which I appreciated.

Morbid as it may sound, my favorite part was the end. Thankfully, it does
...more
Joann Bloxsom
Dec 03, 2015 Joann Bloxsom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was nice to read a book about a woman that had such an impact on me as a young girl. Before I had ever heard of Rosie the Riveter, I had Joan of Arc, and she signified a latent capacity for women to be bad-a$$, even in an era when it was considered witchcraft. I gleaned as much as I could from my family's World Encyclopedia, and then short biography books from my elementary school library. So, it was with an inner sense of glee that I found this book on the shelves of my local library. Honest ...more
Lauren
Mar 19, 2016 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Usually when a historical novel aims to keep to the facts I am a fan. And in fairness to Cutter she incorporates the historical record seamlessly and in a natural manner, which for me is an essential element of historical fiction. Where this book falls down however is in the depiction of Joan of Arc herself. The Joan of this novel is the Joan that the woman herself claimed to be. Really a messenger of God. However, Cutter doesn't seem too convinced of this herself and so her descriptions of Joan ...more
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“Most of [her ashes] fell into the river in a long gray curtain. But some was caught by the wind and blown upward toward the blue spring sky where it swirled a moment in the air, before dissolving into sunlight.” 5 likes
“...because who in the throes of love can ever remember the gray, lonesome days, and who among us does not hope with all their hearts that somehow, by some miracle, such love might go on forever?” 2 likes
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