Monday, August 06, 2007

Holy Fools by Joanne Harris

Author: Joanne Harris
ISBN: 0-552-77001-9
Black Swan

"Set in seventeenth-century France against a backdrop of witch trials, regicide and religious frenzy, this is the story of Juliette, one-time actress and rope-dancer. Forced by circumstance to seek refuge with Fleur, her young daughter, in the remote abbey of Sainte 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, 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..."

Being a Joanne Harris fan, I was really looking forward to reading this book. One of the things I like in her books is she writes about paganism. She is my most favourite author of pagan fiction. However, this is not one of my favourite books.

I liked the main character Juliette, I felt for her at times and was enjoying her story. I felt like I could connect with her and visualise what was going on around her. I really liked her.

Lemerle, I didn't connect with. I found his part in the story interesting and wanted to read more, but he didn't 'grab' me.

The abby with the other Nuns, I didn't really feel I could connect with. I found this part of the story hard to get into.

Basically the story is set in the seventeenth century when witch trials were taking place. Juliette who is part of a traveling circus, is forced to take cover in an Abby with her daughter Fleur. Lemerle a man, from her past turns up and he takes Fleur away from her mother. Juliette's struggle to get her daughter back begins.

I'm glad I read this book, there were times I felt it was boring in places and hard to get into, and so I didn't feel like carrying on with it. But, there was something there that made me want to pick the book up to find out more. So I kept with it.

So to sum it up, it was an OK read. Not one of my favourites. One that will sit on my shelf till I read it again. I sort of feel like this is the sort of book I'd enjoy more the second time around.


Rhinoa said...

I'm sorry you didn't like it as much as some of her previous books. I still have chocolat to read this year which I am looking forward to.

Margo. said...

Chocolat is her best one, from the ones I've read Katie.

Clare said...

I didn't know she was a pagan author, I have a couple of her books but, haven't read them as thought they were some sort ofchick lit LOL have to dig them out! One of the ones I have is this one though ...

Margo. said...

You may like this one Clare, I loved Chocolat and Blackberry wine, they were very 'pagan'.

Five Quarters of the Orange was different, and I really enjoyed that one too.

I have Coastliners & Gentlemen & Players of hers on my shelf to read.
Also I wouldn't consider her books Chick lit, you'll know what I mean when you read them. I think Chocolat will have you in tears!

Unknown said...

I agree with you Margo. I thought it was an ok book, but I didn't really connect with the characters. I would still like to read other books by her though, the quality of writing was good.

heather (errantdreams) said...

It's too bad this one wasn't better; it sounds like a great premise!