The Passion of Dolssa

The Passion of Dolssa

A Novel

Book - 2016
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In mid-thirteenth century Provence, Dolssa de Stigata is a fervently religious girl who feels the call to preach, condemned by the Inquisition as an "unnatural woman," and hunted by the Dominican Friar Lucien who fears a resurgence of the Albigensian heresy; Botille is a matchmaker trying to protect her sisters from being branded as gypsies or witches--but when she finds the hunted Dolssa dying on a hillside, she feels compelled to protect her, a decision that may cost her everything.
Publisher: New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2016
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780451469922
Characteristics: 478 pages ; 22 cm


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Chapel_Hill_SharonD Apr 20, 2020

The Passion of Dolssa brings to life a tragic period in history through lively characterizations and heartfelt narrative. Despite the difficult topic, the author made me need to keep reading, and I felt every word. Beautiful, thoughtful and thought-provoking.

Jan 16, 2020

historical fiction, printz award

IndyPL_LucyW Mar 29, 2019

A real treasure for teen and adult fans of historical fiction and Medieval culture! While readers can find dozens of YA novels set in Victorian times or during the second World War, this novel is truly a standout for its setting and characters, and luckily for us, Julie Berry creates a lush and immersive world of feisty tavern-keepers, matchmakers, and a mystic on the run from establishment Inquisitors. The chapters weave between first- and third-person narratives in this compelling story of friendship, survival, and devotion. Berry provides glossaries and notes about the history and culture of 13th century Provence for added clarity and knowledge.

Mar 24, 2018

Absolutely amazing! Such a rich, immersive historical piece with compelling characters. Once I hit the second half I stayed up into the wee hours to finish it.

Oct 16, 2017

This book was amazing! I loved the characters, the plot, the writing style, everything. It's beautiful and tragic and realistic. It's such a good read and I highly recommend.

JCLChrisK Aug 08, 2017

Just what all the cool kids are craving in a light read these days: a dejecting story about the persecution of a medieval mystic.

Except that description, while superficially accurate, hardly captures the experience of reading this book. A number of narrators' voices are woven together to create the story, with the largest role by far played by Botille, a warm, witty, earthy, and slightly bawdy matchmaker who runs a tavern with her two sisters in a small seaside town. She's full of life and vigor, and so is her vibrant storytelling. Through her, we get a wonderful glimpse into what life would have been like in that time and place.

And don't think that "persecution" means a bunch of theological debates and dogmatic trials. This is a desperate flight across the countryside, intriguing detective work, lies, covert operations, and a wealth of suspense. Involving the inquisition--you know, crusades and public executions with fire and all that. And the mystics Dolssa is based upon, as author Berry explains in her historical note at the end, "took the idea of Jesus as their husband or lover quite seriously; in fact, many spoke of Jesus in passionate, sexual terms that would make modern readers blush."

This is an absorbing and powerful tale.

abruzzo79 Jun 06, 2017

Relevant for our time - the personal cost of cruel discrimination. Engaging writing, too!

kirstd31 Mar 31, 2017

I was very excited to read this book. The story was interesting and I liked how it was told from the different characters perspectives. I do not want to ruin the story for anyone, but I was not pleased with the ending.

multcolib_susannel Feb 13, 2017

During a time when heretics are burned at the stake, three sisters hide a girl who says she talks to Jesus.

Oct 24, 2016

I'm not one for historical fiction, but this is easily a new favorite and I'm glad I read it. The author had a beautiful writing style, the culture and time period were extremely interesting, and the characters felt very human. Give this book a try even if religion, particularly as a common theme, doesn't interest you.

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Oct 24, 2016

DSE1585 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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How curious. How rare. How little we ever know anyone.


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