Something Different for Historical Fiction Lovers
Yesterday Iris Anthony talked about her writing. Today, I'm reviewing her new book:
The Miracle Thief is a historical novel following three women as they seek God’s will in France in the early 900’s:
Sister Juliana escaped to Rochemont Abbey many years ago, seeking to atone for her biggest sin. She serves in the shrine of St Catherine, helping the many pilgrims who come to pray for healing by the saint’s relics.
Anne is the newly-orphaned daughter of an impoverished noblewoman. With no home, she has little option but to obey her mother’s dying request and undertake a pilgrimage to St Catherine’s shrine to seek healing.
Giselle is the illegitimate daughter of a king, raised as a princess and about to be forced into a political marriage against her will. She asks to take a pilgrimage to the shrine of St Catherine to seek God’s will.
The Miracle Thief is an unexpected gem. The characters are real (really. It’s historical fiction based on real people and real events), and were brought to life with all their flaws and foibles. The plot moved steadily, and although (as with real life), the ending wasn’t necessarily what I’d have chosen, it was historically accurate, and it was from a time and place in history that hasn’t been done to death by other authors (*ahem* Tudor England).
Anthony has done an excellent job of melding historical fact with the creativity of fiction. I never felt I was being ‘dumped’ with historical facts or that the story was being manipulated to stay true to history, yet the note at the end shows the degree to which the story has been researched and is true to the historical record (which, admittedly, has a lot of holes).
Although The Miracle Thief is a general market book, there was still a strong underpinning of Christian faith (albeit featuring some very un-Christlike “Christians”), and it meets CBA standards in that there is no inappropriate language. It left me feeling grateful to live in a time and place where I have freedoms and choices women like Juliana, Anne and Giselle never had. Recommended for historical fiction fans looking for something a little different.
Thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Iris Anthony at her website.