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Poor Banished Children

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  136 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
An explosion is heard off the coast of sixteenth-century England, and a woman washes up on the shore. She is barely alive and does not speak English, but she asks for a priest... in Latin. She has a confession to make and a story to tell, but who is she and where has she come from?

Cast out of her superstitious, Maltese family, Warda turns to begging and stealing until she
Hardcover, 299 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Ignatius Press
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Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-list
This book collected some dust on my to-read shelf. I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it and I couldn't gauge how long it would take me to get immersed and interested. My to-read shelf is quite full (it's actually two shelves, and spilling over onto a third shelf), and one of the reasons so many of my books on Goodreads have four or five stars is that I don't start or finish books I don't think I'll like. (I am very, very picky with what I'll start and/or finish. In this season of life when reading time is ...more
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who love Historical Fiction
This story drew me in with the first paragarph. I was completely spellbound. A beautiful written story of a women named Warda who lived during the sixteenth century. Warda's relentless struggle to survive all that she went through is truly inspiring. I'm looking forward to reading other books by this author!

This was a Goodreads Giveaway.
This was a Goodreads giveaway. So I _wanted_ to like it. And the description sounded intriguing. A free spirited young woman (we know she is named Ursula, though she has forgotten it herself), from childhood rejected and neglected by her family on the isle of Malta, finds a degree of contentment studying at the side of her mentor, Father Antonin, who gives her the name Warda, until she is old enough to marry. When she balks at that idea, the priest suggests she become a nun. She acquiesces with ...more
Veronica Gotway
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is emotionally exhausting and tragic.
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This rather grim novel is the story of a young woman called Warda, who is cast out of her family home in Malta, and brought up and taught by the local priest. Kidnapped by pirates, she is sold into slavery in North Africa. Eventually she escapes, and is ship-wrecked off the coast of England.

The book is well-written with vivid descriptions and character development. I liked the fact that the author included some chapters that were obstensibly written by the supporting characters in the novel, so
Terry Southard
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am torn about this book - between 3 stars and 4. Really would have liked to give it a 3 1/2. It is better than average, but it is so unrelentingly grim that it is difficult to warm up to.

I had never read anything about the Barbary pirates before, so the novel sent me running to the internet to get a little background information.

I'll have to do a little more thinking on this one before I can give a better review. Perhaps discussion at book club this month (it is the selection for June) will m
Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I wasn't sure how to rate this book. I thought the author was a good writer. However, only bad things ever happen to the woman in this book, and there is very little to redeem it in the end. As a Catholic, I think the last couple of pages are supposed to be the hope and salvation of what the rest of the book details but I was hoping for a lot more.
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I love how this book was constructed, interspersing confessions with memories, good and bad. Incredibly well written, transporting the reader to the 16th century, lives of slaves, merchant seamen, religious men & women, and the rich.
Nov 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: catholic-fiction
While I enjoyed the very descriptive prose of Fiorella de Maria, I feel this historical fiction might offend the sensibilities of some readers. It is a rough time period and the choices the heroine had to make miight make some older teenagers blush.
Carol Thames
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book. I couldn't get enough of the trials and tribulations Warda went through in her life. After watching a documentary on HBO about African children being shunned by their families for being 'witches' I found this story fascinating.
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Could not put this book down. So intense, so overwhelming, so riveting.
When I think, truly think, about the sufferings others endure, I can honestly say my suffering is nothing. I don't know how people survive the atrocities brought upon them by others.

Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was read for our book club and there were some very good discussions. Some of the book club members felt it was fine to do a moral evil to obtain a good, I'm glad we set them straight:) Read before you let any of you children, due to some sexual (not graphic) content.
Katherine Haas
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gripping and fascinating. I couldn't put it down.
Nov 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: catholic, fiction, 2011
Very intense. Interesting ending. The main character was too guilt-ridden.
Ca Mcgowan
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read the second half in one sitting, and in the age of numerous and sundry digital media devices and their siren song of bleeps and pings, that never happens anymore. I really loved this book.
I’ve heard before that people like reading historical novels because they get to learn something new about history while being entertained. Well, this historical novel taught me something new about history all right (yes it did!), but I can’t say it was an enjoyable read.

The story takes place during the Barbary slave trade, when pirates were raiding Christian areas around the Mediterranean for slaves they could sell to wealthy Muslims on the north coast of Africa. Hmmm…. Interesting that we hear
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
Loved it! There's nothing quite as satisfying as a book that I just can't put down. I'm difficult to please because I have little patience for too much imagery and a predicable plot, but this novel, a compelling story of despair, courage, faith, and redemption, kept me enthralled from the very beginning.

The first person points-of-view switch from character to character allowing the reader to see them much more in depth. The setting was well researched which enabled the author to successfully co
Janice Herrington
Jun 18, 2012 is currently reading it

A complicated book, yet well worth reading. Yet another heartbreaking story of slavery, this time in the years of the 1600 when pirates' treasures were often people bought and sold. Eye opening, as these slaves came from such places as English coastal villages. Another aspect I found deeply emotional...In this day of constant referral to anything sexual, this heroine was most deeply damaged by the sexual abuse she was forced to endure.
Jul 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. This was a difficult book for me to rate. I was very intrigued by the subject matter and time period in which it was set. It was a book of tragedies, so many for one poor, lonely girl/woman, but I was excited to come back to the book night after night. However, toward the end I became disenchanted, a bit bored, and somewhat confused by the main character.
Meg Carl
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
I had to think about this book. The main character is portrayed as brave and committed to her convictions. I mainly saw her as proud, self absorbed and not too smart. I appreciate her strength of character but I wonder if she listened to God, she might have discovered a new path for her life. At the very least, maybe she could be a blessing where she landed. As it is, her life is one misery after another and although she has regrets at the end, it doesn't make for a happy ending.
Dee Benton
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book made me want to rush out and join an organization to stop human trafficking. I also can relate to the feeling of peace that comes from confession. I think the author did a nice job of expressing the difficulties of the main characters life, the extremely tough decisions she was forced to make, and ultimately, her acceptance of God's gift of forgiveness.
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Well written and kept my interest throughout. Slavery in days of yore was brutal and without mercy. It is a shame ( tragedy) that it continued and still continues today. The priests she met were her salvation.It is good to see priests in a positive light. For those looking for vilification of clergy and faith, please look elsewhere.
Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the format of this book. It was not a feel good book, but the writing was incredible and the message of redemption was good although it took until the very end of the book for that. And I liked it because absolutely no bad language although the thematic content was a little on the mature side. Haunting buy fascinating.
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Compelling story of a soul's encounter with mercy. Follows the main character from a poverty stricken childhood on Malta to a life of slavery and concubinage in Barbary to a pirate ship.
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written and carefully researched, making the story plausible and passionate. Unlike anything I've read before!
May 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was just ok.
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Don't let the title fool you. This is a mystery novel.
Cate Neuhauser
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Found it boring and could never get really into the story, I felt that it dragged and didnt like the voice the author used.
Phyllis   Filgate
rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2014
Faith Gutierrez
rated it liked it
Jul 23, 2013
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Fiorella De Maria was born in Italy of Maltese parents. She grew up in Wiltshire, England, and attended Cambridge, where she received a BA in English Literature and a Masters in Renaissance Literature, specializing in the English verse of Robert Southwell, S.J. She lives in Surrey with her husband and her three children. She won the National Book Prize of Malta (foreign language fiction category) ...more
More about Fiorella De Maria...
“just show a little humility. If you know your weaknesses you will not be enslaved by them.” 6 likes
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