Thursday, September 22, 2011

Poor Banished Children

While attending the SPUC conference last weekend I was chided by Fiorella De Maria Nash for my recent BLOG post "Great Catholic Writers" in which I commented about the paucity of intellectual Catholic writers today.

Fiorella challenged me to review her book "Poor Banished Children" and I promised to do so as soon as I can. This led me to look up the publication which is available either in normal book form or in an online version. 

According to the website the book 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. 

Publishers weekly says of the novel

De Maria writes an absorbing tale replete with Barbary pirates and concubines. In 1640, a badly injured woman washes ashore on the coast of England following an explosion at sea. Warda, the woman, has come a long way from the island of Malta where she was born, and her sickbed confession to a priest is a story of adventure, enslavement, and piracy. Disowned by her family, young Warda is raised by a Catholic priest who teaches her Latin and the healing arts and prepares her to live as an anchorite. But the landing of a pirate ship dashes that, and Warda is captured and sold into slavery in North Africa. Through changing circumstances and locales, she remains fiercely stubborn, balancing a refusal to concede to her circumstances with a ferocious desire to live at any moral cost. The author creates a memorable heroine and renders scenes set in unfamiliar places and times with only a few details and swift dialog. Varying viewpoints provide a fuller portrait of Warda, her aching soul, and her momentous choices. Catholic writer De Maria deserves a wide audience." (March, 2011)
Fiorella also commented to me that she is getting a bit fed up of reviews saying Poor Banished Children is 'depressing' and asks what do people imagine slavery was like? 

Perhaps I was a bit hasty in decrying the paucity of contemporary Catholic writers.