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The Maid

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  2,058 ratings  ·  373 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
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published April 20th 2011)
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3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,058 ratings  ·  373 reviews

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Jenn (Booksessed)
May 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 12, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Tamora Pierce
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, historical
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
May 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 09, 2011 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
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
April Hochstrasser
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a cracking good read! I was expecting a dry history novel - this was anything but that! Not having studied this in school, I only knew of Joan of Arc as a young girl fighting for the French who was eventually burned at the stake. This book gave me her entire history and just WHY she did what she did. Written like a story rather than an historical recount, it was easy to get into and easy to just keep reading and reading. Highly recommend this book, well done Kimberly Cutter!
Maureen Grigsby
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quite an excellent novel of the life of Joan of Arc. I wanted to read this in anticipation of my visit to France later this year.
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
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
Jo Barton
Nov 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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!
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
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
Jennifer Kim
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Colleen Turner
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I reviewed this book for

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
Tami Hawley
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have always had a "thing" for Joan of Arc. Book reports and essays in school too numerous to count. When I saw an historical novel about her I grabbed at it and thank God I was given this advance.

I LOVED this book. So many stories have been told about Joan but none that makes you feel what Joan felt like this one. Much of the book is based on true history - events and what times were like - the rest filled in to give us this enlightening account of Jehanne d'Arc.

Jehanne was, above all, dedicat
M.L. Sparrow
Sep 20, 2015 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
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This book had been on my To-Read shelf for a long time, and it was well worth the wait. I knew nothing about Joan of Arc going into this story, and I walked out learning lots. Granted, it's historical fiction, but Cutter remains amazingly authentic to the "true" historical accounts.

I, like many other people, found Joan to be truly inspiring. Being the first trans person at my school, I related personally to her in many ways. I admire Cutter's ability to blend fact and fiction together into a com
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
A simple peasant girl is born during the Hundred Year's War in Domremy in 1412. She learns how to read and write only one word - her first name - Jehanne. Her sister gets murdered by the English. She escapes both an abusive father and a forced marriage.

At the age of sixteen, she starts having visions of saving France from English invasions. Her visions are very clear, she needs to get to Chinon before mid-Lent in order to save France. It's not an easy task for a peasant girl to get to the King.
May 08, 2017 added it
Abandoned. I wanted to listen to this, read by Rosalyn Landor, but after two tries, I couldn't stand the squishy descriptions nor Jeanne herself. Not my cup of tea.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Definitely fits into the new genre “historical thriller” since I already know about Joan of Arc’s story; this book focused on the journey and got the reader hyped to see how everything would play out. More of a direct storytelling versus narrative, but still effective. For fans of historical retellings.
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You'll love this ...: Sept 2012 - The Maid 47 46 Nov 11, 2012 09:22AM  
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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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