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Holy Fools

by Joanne Harris

Set in turbulent 17th century France, the heroine, Juliette, seeks refuge from her dangerous past as a street performer in a remote abbey. This novel is strong on historical detail and colour; the plot is complicated but moves at a pace and builds to a climax thanks to four different narrators. However, don't expect the whimsy of Chocolat - there' something much darker going on here.

Extract

Alfonsine was the first to move. 'Soeur Auguste,' she exclaimed. 'Praise God, Soeur Auguste. We have a new - ' Her voice broke in what could have been excitement. I was already looking beyond her, my eyes moving eagerly in search of the wise, bright lady of my expectation. But beside the alter I saw only a young girl of eleven or twelve, her small pallid face impassive beneath a neat white wimple, her hand held out in a limp gesture of benediction.

Parallels

Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
 

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