This book is quite different—much darker and without a satisfactory ending (in my opinion). I liked the character development of Juliette and the fact that she found peace and comunity...more
I didn't like the very ending, though. Cannot understand Juliettes decision on the last page.
I must admit that I don't like historic novles much in general, and it's quite co...more
Of course, this is no modern convent with girls’ high school attached, but rather a beautifully isolated place in seventeenth century France. The fact that I’ve taken vacations in the area only added to the attraction, a...more
One of the themes running throug...more
In 17th Century France, Soeur Auguste lives a gentle, generous life in the remote island abbey of Sainte Marie-de-la-Mer, together with her daughter, Fleur. She is loved and valued by her sisters in faith, as much for her skills with medicinal plants as for her sweet and kindly nature. But Soeur Auguste is hiding a secret. She is not the impoverished widow of her ‘cover story,’ but Juliette, a one-time gypsy and circus performer, forced by th...more
This book, while still engaging in much magi...more
Once again, as with most of Joanne Harris's writing, there's a French connection. This time it's the early seventeenth century, and an unlikely nun whose history has included being a travelling acrobat and bearing a child, Fleur, before dangerous times force her to seek sanctuary.
But changes are afoot at the abbey. The kindly reverend mother dies, and her rep...more
Pregnant, and seeking refuge,former trapeze performer "l'Ailee" leaves he...more
Harris has an affinity with certain themes and a section of this story is pretty much the same as Coastliners (apparitions, statues, gullible simple people).
I was actually looking forward to this one, as the main premise was right up my street.
But I have read books with some of the same ingredients that were better (Witch-hunts, zealotry, a religious order housing social castaways who've changed their identity, the downfall of said order through painful expos...more
With few exceptions, critics agree that Harris's new novel is just as sumptuous as Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, and Coastliners. Much more than a tale of revenge and redemption, Holy Fools delves into maternal bonds, love and betrayal, 17th-century politics, and the abusive power of the church. Harris varies her theatrical retelling of Juliette's story with flashbacks, journal entries, and even LeMerle's own voice, giving the novel depth but some unwelcome frenzy. LeMe...more
All is well until the abbess dies and the new abbess who is only eleven comes with an old acquaintance, Le Merle. He is posing as a priest but has the most evil of agendas. Juliette, now S...more
Juliette's story is told in the first person and I loved the description of her early life and the story unfolding through her eyes.
However, I wasn't keen on it switching to LeMerle's POV, though by...more
The two of them, incredibly well-drawn, carry the story, narrating it alternately in shorter and shorter chapters, as the plot unfolds with increasing urgency, mirror...more
The main character, Juliette, flees a circus troupe in 1610 Brittany to take refuge in the abbey of Sainte Marie-de-la-mer. Her life there with her little daughter, Fleur, is idyllic until the Rev. Mother dies.
With the coming of a new abbess, Juliette loses her daughter and is drawn into a world of superstition, theology, suicide, apparitions, fear and witchcraft. With the new abbess and into her convent world of n...more
This time the book is set in yet an other time, year 1610, but is still in France of course. The main character is called Juliette, and is a former rope-dancer from a circus. She seeks refuge in a remote Abbey w...more
Historical fiction~France, 1605. A young woman, pregnant and alone, finds sanctuary in a convent on an island off the coast of France. After the birth of her daughter the young woman becomes Soeur Auguste and adjusts to life at the secluded Abbey of Sainte Marie-de-la-mer. Thinking she is safe from the evils of h...more
There are many tricks played on these nuns, some so far fetched I found it irritating that the portrayal of these woman of cloth would be so impressionable and awfully gullible to believe the tricks are from the devil. No one questions. N...more
I did especially like Juliette throughout most of the story, I enjoyed her logic, her realism, her everyday use of magic and her constant references to the scientific education she had as a child. In the end she did disappoint me because she was weak willed and forgave much too ea...more
Joanne Harris was born in Barnsley in 1964, of a French mother and an English father. She studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and was a teacher for fifteen years, during which time she published three novels; The Evil Seed (1989), Sle...more