An explosion is heard off the coast of seventeenth-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 from where has she come?
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 protégé 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 tested daily, as she struggles to survive without submitting to total and permanent enslavement. As she is 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 challenging questions about the nature of courage, free will, and ultimately salvation.
- An award-winning European novelist presents a powerful story of mystery, adventure, peril, suffering, faith, and courage
- A thrilling historical novel that explores the life and cultures of 17th century England, Malta and Africa
- A challenging work that tells the story of one woman's relentless search for freedom and redemption amidst great suffering, loneliness and despair
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About the Author
Fiorella De Maria was born in Italy of Maltese parents. She grew up in Wiltshire, England, and attended Cambridge, receiving a BA in English Literature and a Masters in Renaissance Literature. She lives in Surrey with her husband and four children. A winner of the National Book Prize of Malta, she has published three other novels with Ignatius Press: Poor Banished Children, Do No Harm and We'll Never Tell Them.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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...