The Passion of Dolssa

By: Julie Berry

2017 Michael L. Printz Award Honor
In thirteenth-century Provensa, a devotedly religious girl flees Church executioners who claim she’s a heretic. She finds refuge in a seaside town where Church authority lacks high regard. Map. Dramatis Personae. Author’s historical note. Glossaries. Additional reading. Selected bibliography.

ISBN: 9780451469922

JLG Release: Jul 2016


Sensitive Areas: Mild sexual themes, Alcohol, Burning to death on the pyre
Topics: Albigenses , Inquisition , Christian heresies , Faith , Provence, France , Thirteenth-century French history , Catholicism , Religion , Siblings

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Awards & Honors

SLJ’s Best Books of 2016, Young Adult
Booklist 2016 Top 10 Books for Youth, Religion & Spirituality
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2016, Young Adult
The New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2016, Young Adult
New York Public Library 2016 50 Best Books for Teens, Fiction
Booklist 2016 Editors’ Choice, Books for Youth, Older Readers, Fiction
YALSA 2017 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
Booklist Top 10 Books for Youth 2017, Historical Fiction
Los Angeles Times Book Prize 2017 Finalist, Young Adult Literature
2017 Capitol Choices, Fourteen and Up
Booklist Carte Blanche: Columinist’s Choice 2016

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine*, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Botille is a matchmaker in the small seaside town of Bajas in medieval France. She struggles to run the family’s tavern and keep her sisters and herself afloat. Dolssa is a young woman with a secret that she can’t help but share—her lover is God, and she speaks to him regularly. When the two young women
[STARRED REVIEW]
Botille is a matchmaker in the small seaside town of Bajas in medieval France. She struggles to run the family’s tavern and keep her sisters and herself afloat. Dolssa is a young woman with a secret that she can’t help but share—her lover is God, and she speaks to him regularly. When the two young women cross paths, both deep friendship and mortal peril await them. A beautifully rendered portrait of a little-known portion of history, this work is a meticulously researched piece of fiction. Yet it is not just in the accurate details that the novel shines. The strength and humanity of the almost entirely female set of characters are inspiring and well drawn. The panic and suspicion of post-Inquisition France is omnipresent, giving the story of a supposed heretic a constant edge of danger. As the novel slips in and out of magical realism, readers will be transported into Dolssa and Botille’s world. VERDICT An expertly crafted piece of historical fiction, Berry’s latest is a must for middle and high school libraries.—Erinn Black Salge, Saint Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, NJ

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW
Berry (All the Truth That’s in Me, rev. 11/13) tells the story of Catholic mystic Dolssa de Stigata after she escapes being burned as a heretic in 1241 Toulouse, France; mostly, however, it’s the story of Botille, an enterprising young matchmaker from a tiny fishing village who rescues Dolssa from starv
[STARRED REVIEW
Berry (All the Truth That’s in Me, rev. 11/13) tells the story of Catholic mystic Dolssa de Stigata after she escapes being burned as a heretic in 1241 Toulouse, France; mostly, however, it’s the story of Botille, an enterprising young matchmaker from a tiny fishing village who rescues Dolssa from starvation and detection, and thus puts herself and her village in mortal danger. Berry constructs her novel as a 1290 account by a monk, and employs both first- and third-person narrations—from Botille to Dolssa to the vengeful Dominican Friar Lucien who pursues Dolssa, and more. If this makes the reading experience choppy at times, it doesn’t matter: Botille’s spirited, down-to-earth character and style, the heartrending suspense of the events she relates, and the terrifying context of the Inquisition in medieval Europe all render the novel irresistibly compelling. So too does the female solidarity Berry portrays among Botille and her sisters (tavern-keeper and fortuneteller) and their loyalty to the woman they rescue. Berry writes in short sentences with relatively simple language, conveying complex historical and religious matters fluently and accessibly for today’s readers. Her thoughtful, sober historical note places the story’s thirteenth-century issues in a valuable modern context; also appended are two glossaries (for Old Provençal and Latin words), a list of place names, and a bibliography. deirdre f. baker

Book Details

ISBN

9780451469922

First Release

July 2016

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

496

Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level HL650L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Viking

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Mild sexual themes, Alcohol, Burning to death on the pyre

Topics

Albigenses, Inquisition, Christian heresies, Faith, Provence, France, Thirteenth-century French history, Catholicism, Religion, Siblings,

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