A Stolen Tongue [NOOK Book]

Overview


A riveting mystery that recalls the work of Umberto Eco and Barry Unsworth, A Stolen Tongue is the captivating debut novel that launched critically acclaimed author Sheri Holman’s literary career.

In 1483, Father Felix Fabri sails from Germany to Mount Sinai on a pilgrimage to venerate the relics of Saint Katherine of Alexandria. But at each of the shrines he visits throughout Greece and Palestine, he finds that the remains of Katherine’s ...
See more details below
A Stolen Tongue

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$15.00 List Price

Overview


A riveting mystery that recalls the work of Umberto Eco and Barry Unsworth, A Stolen Tongue is the captivating debut novel that launched critically acclaimed author Sheri Holman’s literary career.

In 1483, Father Felix Fabri sails from Germany to Mount Sinai on a pilgrimage to venerate the relics of Saint Katherine of Alexandria. But at each of the shrines he visits throughout Greece and Palestine, he finds that the remains of Katherine’s body are being stolen piece by piece: her hand, her ear, and then her tongue vanish from their holy resting places. Desperate to discover the thief and save his saint from such appalling desecration, Felix is thrust into a strange mystery that takes him across the desert and plumbs the depths of his soul.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Widely varied notions of faith and mission, from the conventional to the bizarre, color this intriguing historical thriller about a 15th-century pilgrimage from Germany to Mt. Sinai. The narrative takes the form of a journal kept by Dominican Father Felix Fabri, beginning at sea in 1483. Felix seeks to visit the relics of his spiritual wife, St. Katherine of Alexandria, on whom he has developed a fixation that might strike contemporary readers as not being entirely in keeping with his vows-though such eroticized spirituality was not uncommon at the time. As pieces of Katherine's body disappear from churches along his party's route, Felix faces a troubling mystery made more strange by the appearance of a young woman named Arsino, whose possibly mad communications with the saint have earned her the sobriquet, Tongue of St. Katherine. The pilgrims' voyage is arduous enough, but with the added intrigue of the disappearing relics, and conflicts that try Felix's faith and corrupt his judgment, they will be pushed to the brink of despair. First-novelist Holman pulls her readers along with odd riddles and careful suspense. As absorbing as is her portrayal of the premodern world is, her feel for timeless ironies is also sure: Felix decries the strange, unholy ways of the "Saracens" while he searches for his dead "wife," whose dried-out tongue he keeps in a pouch around his neck. While the plot's resolution is a bit unsatisfying, this is a strong debut, an often enthralling yarn that draws the reader right in among the pilgrims on their harrowing trek. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Obsessed with spiritual "marriage" to the martyr St. Katherine of Alexandria, Father Felix Fabri plans to visit her tomb on a journey to the Holy Land with a group of German pilgrims. Along the way, however, the group stops at shrines containing relics of the saint, only to find that someone has stolen them. Fifteenth-century culture springs to life through the voice of this educated, religious, witty, and well-spoken observer. A moving first novel; essential for historical fiction readers.
Kirkus Reviews
In an unusual, probing debut, 15th-century Palestine is the destination for a group of German pilgrims, who arrive gratefully in the Holy Land after a perilous sea voyage, only to lose much of what they hold most dear.

Fishing the corpse of a fellow pilgrim from a harbor in Crete to give him a Christian burial, Friar Felix Fabri and his patron Lord Tucher escort the dead man to a church containing a relic of the Friar's heavenly bride, the martyr Saint Katherine—and find it stolen. So it goes across the Mediterranean: Whenever they reach a location supposed to possess relics of Katherine, Felix learns that they've just been filched. A woman named Arsinoë, who joins the pilgrims on board ship, begins to seem a likely suspect: She is believed to be the "Tongue of Saint Katherine," through whom the saint speaks to those on earth. The suspect's odd behavior takes an even stranger twist when she assumes her Greek husband's identity after his death en route. Other deaths follow when the Holy Land is reached, leaving the Friar torn: Is Arsinoë really what she thinks she is, or is she dangerously delusional, as her pursuing brother Niccolo claims. By misleading her brother, Felix helps her to get a head start on a trek across the desert to Mount Sinai, home of Katherine's shrine, then learns that she may be bent on destroying what he has crossed the world to see. The final stages of the journey bring privation, betrayal, and death to most of his fellow travelers, including his patron and Arsinoë. Having barely survived himself, the friar is left a wiser man, to contemplate his harrowing experience with what remains of his faith.

Light humor and deep tragedy coexist uneasily here, with the latter ultimately triumphant, but the unevenness doesn't change the fact that this is a rich, surprisingly compelling tale of faith and spiritual transformation.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555847678
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/22/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 542,772
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Sheri Holman grew up in rural Virginia and now lives with her husband and three children in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of The Mammoth Cheese and The Dress Lodger, a national best seller nominated for an IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Good To Know

In our interview with Holman, she shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself:

"Before publishing my first book, I spent five years working for the literary agent Molly Friedrich (she represents Jane Smiley, Terry McMillan, Frank McCourt, and Sue Grafton, among others). I started as her assistant and now she's my agent!"

"I know how to say, ‘I'm a hot chick, kiss me,' in Russian. "

"My husband and I have way too many pets: four indoor cats, four outdoor cats, a parrot, a baby, and now twins on the way. I think of myself as a country girl, though I've lived 15 years in New York City. I love to cook and I watch way too much baseball on TV (the Yankees, of course). I feel incredibly fortunate that I can make my living reading a bunch of obscure books and turning them into stories. "

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 1, 1966
    2. Place of Birth:
      Richmond, Virginia
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Theatre from the College of William and Mary, 1988

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)