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Ransomwood by Sherryl Jordan

July 1, 2012

Ransomwood by Sherryl Jordan. Pub. Scholastic, 2012. 

This is one of the loveliest novels I have read in some time. It is set in the Middle Ages , a time of superstition, hardship and religious bigotry. A time when a man could be hung for zilch and a woman burnt as a witch for being  joyous.

I like it most because it is a love story between two unlikely characters who do not realise they are destined to be together.

Harry is known as a half-wit because he is big and slow and often makes mistakes. Gwenifer is a slave to her aunt and uncle who treat her appallingly and do everything to make her feel bad about herself. Harry likes Gwenifer but thinks he has a better chance of laying an egg than he has with laying with Gwenifer.

Gwenifer falls victim to a handsome man who discards her to marry another village girl. An accident which involves both Harry and Gwenifer leads the unlikely couple to go on a pilgrimage with a blind old woman called Dorit to a statue in Ransomwood that is said to cry tears of the Virgin Mary.

A likely story you say and you would be right. But the adventure is incredible.

Brilliantly told by one of New Zealand’s best story tellers. This novel will melt your heart.

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