My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Point of View: 1st Person & Alterbative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Friendship, Religion
Dolssa is a young gentlewoman with uncanny gifts, on the run from an obsessed friar determined to burn her as a heretic for the passion she refuses to tame.
Botille is a wily and charismatic peasant, a matchmaker running a tavern with her two sisters in a tiny seaside town.
The year is 1241; the place, Provensa, what we now call Provence, France—a land still reeling from the bloody crusades waged there by the Catholic Church and its northern French armies.
When the matchmaker finds the mystic near death by a riverside, Botille takes Dolssa in and discovers the girl’s extraordinary healing power. But as the vengeful Friar Lucien hunts down his heretic, the two girls find themselves putting an entire village at the mercy of murderers.
What a precious, so very precious, novel.
I generally stand far enough away from books with too strong of a religion theme, because I tend to disagree with some things, especially the role of women, but I could not stand away from this novel any longer.
And I’m just so happy I didn’t, because THE PASSION OF DOLSSA is a remarkable tale set during medieval times in Provensa. The two main characters, Dolssa and Botille, are three-dimensional beings with so much courage and love to give.
Even though none of what is in this book would have happened without Dolssa, Botille is the one who narrates us the highest amount of events. She and her sisters, and later Dolssa, form an unbreakable bond—the sisterhood. It was absolutely lovely to meet them all.
Not everyone would dare be associated with a heretic, but Botille and her sisters take as much care of Dolssa as humanly possible. Dolssa has lost her family, her home, but she hasn’t lost her Beloved yet. Her Beloved who gives her the power to heal Bajas’ ailed ones.
Julie Berry’s writing style is… gripping. She truly made me feel as if I was in Provensa, 1241, with the girls. I felt the danger and the sadness, the joy and the wonder. I’m ashamed to admit this is my first novel read from her. That shall change.
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