Poor Banished Children

Poor Banished Children

4.2 5
by Fiorella de Maria
     
 

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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

Overview

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 is fostered by an understanding Catholic priest who teaches her the art of healing. Her willful nature and hard-earned independence make her unfit for marriage, and so the good priest sends Warda to serve an anchorite, in the hope that his protege will discern a religious vocation.Such a calling Warda never has the opportunity to hear. Barbary pirates raid her village, capture her and sell her into slavery in Muslim North Africa. In the merciless land of Warda's captivity, her wits, nerve and self-respect are daily put to the test, as she struggles to survive without submitting to total and permanent enslavement. Slowly worn down by the brutality of her circumstances, she comes to believe that God has abandoned her and falls into despair, hatred and a pattern of behavior which, ironically, mirrors that of her masters.Poor Banished Children is the tale of one woman's relentless search for freedom and redemption. The historical novel raises uncomfortable questions about the nature of courage, free will and ultimately salvation.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
De Maria (The Cassandra Curse) writes an absorbing tale replete with Barbary pirates and concubines. In 1640, a badly injured woman washes ashore on the coast of England following an explosion at sea. Warda, the woman, has come a long way from the island of Malta where she was born, and her sickbed confession to a priest is a story of adventure, enslavement, and piracy. Disowned by her family, young Warda is raised by a Catholic priest who teaches her Latin and the healing arts and prepares her to live as an anchorite. But the landing of a pirate ship dashes that, and Warda is captured and sold into slavery in North Africa. Through changing circumstances and locales, she remains fiercely stubborn, balancing a refusal to concede to her circumstances with a ferocious desire to live at any moral cost. The author creates a memorable heroine and renders scenes set in unfamiliar places and times with only a few details and swift dialog. Varying viewpoints provide a fuller portrait of Warda, her aching soul, and her momentous choices. Catholic writer De Maria deserves a wide audience. (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781586176327
Publisher:
Ignatius Press
Publication date:
04/06/2011
Pages:
265
Sales rank:
757,043
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

Ron Hansen
“A soulful, beautifully written, and haunting novel.” --(Ron Hansen, NY Times Best-selling Author, Mariette in Ecstasy)
Mary Eberstadt
“The hypnotic tale of an unforgettable girl who loses everything in the world but her courage -- and the unshakeable knowledge that with every new trial, her soul remains at stake. Set in the terrifying days of Barbary piracy, peopled by both savages and saints, this novel will rivet any reader ever to have felt the forces of evil and redemption. It is a meditation on guilt, innocence, and transcendence that will haunt the reader long after the book is done.” --(Mary Eberstadt, Author, The Loser Letters: A Comic Tale of Life, Death, and Atheism)
Thomas Howard
“This is serious fiction with prose that is clean, strong, and worthy. We are drawn into a first-rate story—Corsairs, Barbary pirates, cruelty, slavery, shipwreck, suffering, and heroic sanctity. It has skillful character presentation and true craftsmanship in the narrative: dreams, memory, straight reporting, and confession. Above all, here is the Catholic Faith in all of its depth, radiance, and plenitude.” --(Thomas Howard, Author, Narnia and Beyond)

Meet the Author

Fiorella Nash was born in Italy of Maltese parents. She grew up in Wiltshire, England, and attended Cambridge,
where she received a Masters in Philosophy in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, specializing in the English verse of Robert Southwell, S.J. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and son. She won the National Book Prize of Malta (foreign language fiction category) for her novel The Cassandra Curse.

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Poor Banished Children 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book keeps your interest. It has good Catholic priests as characters. The heroine, Warda suffers much, but continues to stand up to her abusers. The attitudes of the slave owners are so warped, it gives much food for thought. The abuse is hard to read about at times. I found it a very interesting story.
MavOR More than 1 year ago
While there is a whisper of melodrama to this novel, the writing is lovely, with a tight plot and characters with depth. As this rather short book ended, my only hope is that the author will continue the saga of Warda in a sequel.
VeronicaJR More than 1 year ago
I congratulate the author of this book, which is a very different, very absorbing story, which will probably be best understood by Catholic readers. I spent two nights reading it, and the first night I only stopped because the print was starting to blur on my Nook because my eyes were so tired. I absolutely loved this story - the only criticism I have is that I wish it had been twice as long so that I could still be reading it right now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanted to like this book, and it certainly was a good read until the last few pages. So disappointed in the ending. Don't want to give it away, but I wouldn't recommend reading it because the ending was so bad...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago