THE MAID by Kimberly Cutter is a novel of Joan of Arc. The research here is stellar, some of the best I’ve ever come across. Joan comes bursting to life for all of us to experience. When asked at the end of the book how much is true, Cutter says truthfully that almost all of it is. Amazing!
I first became interested in Joan of Arc a few years ago while visiting Rouen, France, the spot where Joan was burned at the stake so many years ago. The place is a lovely square in the middle of the city. It was springtime as we visited and the flowers were blooming profusely. We even lunched at a little outside cafe across the way.
As the novel begins in the fifteenth century, Joan is a sprite of a girl, just seventeen, a dirt poor peasant girl,” unschooled, and simple as a thumb.” The last from the book. It is apt.
Joan is a devout child who prays every time she gets the chance. And she hears voices from three saints: Michael; Catherine; and Margaret. God is such a big part of her life that when God tells her to leave home to lead a battle against the English, she does just that. The French have been in a war called the Hundred Year War for seemingly ever.
How was Joan responsible for the crowning of an uncrowned King? How did she convince 10,000 men to follow her into battle? And how could a tiny girl become such a large entity?
Picture this: A 17 year-old girl, burdened with heavy chain mail, perched atop a sky- high steed, hair flying in the wind, with an ocean of men on horseback following her into battle. That would be Joan.
I found this unputdownable the deeper I got into the story. I think you will too.
This novel is a must-read for anyone interested in history. You will learn so much about France, and about the French people. And what you take away from this story about Joan of Arc will fuel your mind for eons.