Customer Reviews for

The Book of the Maidservant

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted October 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful middle grade historical fiction

    I wasn't sure what to expect from The Book of the Maidservant, but the wonderful writing and the swiftly moving plot sucked me in from the very beginning and didn't let me go. The action builds rapidly as Johanna finds herself facing one adventure after another, meeting wonderful friends and terrible enemies along the way.

    I'm not very familiar with medieval history, but Barnhouse definitely brought the time period alive. You can see and hear and smell everything right along with Johanna, both the good and the bad. As Johanna travels with the pilgrims, you get to experience medieval Europe through the eyes of a young girl, who must serve the party but still tries to preserve her own independence as much as she can.

    Johanna struggles with her faith throughout the book in very realistic and age-appropriate ways. In a world and time where being a good and devout Christian is of great importance, she tries hard to keep her thoughts and actions kind, despite the many injustices being done to her. As she gets into increasingly difficult situations, she starts to feel like God and the saints have abandoned her. As she deals with all of this, the book never feels preachy. It simply allows you in to Johanna's thoughts as she tries to figure things out on her own.

    The Book of the Maidservant was one of the best books I've read in a while. It's a wonderful work of middle grade historical fiction: realistic and educational while remaining very interesting and relatable.

    { Full review originally posted on my blog, PidginPea's Book Nook. }

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