Nancy Garden - Dove and Sword. PDF

PDF This young adult novel is the tale of Gabrielle de Domremy who is a childhood friend of Joan of Arc. Gabrielle learns healing and midwifery from her mother, and follows Joan's army as a medic. She dresses as a boy, loves (chastely, of course) a soldier, and even follows Joan after she is captured and imprisoned until her death at the stake. Gabrielle is a courageous young woman, but a lover of peace and is the 'dove' to Joan's 'sword.'
As a person whose official education of history encompassed only the American Revolution to the Civil War, I was mildly interested in the historical Joan of Arc when I picked this book up at a garage sale. I was induced to finally read it by the Go Review That Book forum here on LT, and I am glad of it. The fictional tale of Gabrielle brought color and relatability to a centuries old historical figure. There is much commentary on the rightness or wrongness of war, as well as discussion of Joan's piety and saintliness. I was concerned that the reality of battle might be either too graphic for a young reader or mostly glossed over; however, Garden has managed to strike a balance between the two and write with both realism and mindfulness of her intended audience. This is a recommended read for young people, especially females, interested in historical events or personages.

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