The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
Genres/Themes: Historical fiction, Young/ New Adult, Religion, Crusades/ Inquisitions
What an absolutely AMAZING book.
Summary from Goodreads:
I must write this account, and when I have finished, I will burn it.
Buried deep within the archives of a convent in medieval France is an untold story of love, loss, and wonder and the two girls at the heart of it all.
Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with a secret lover and an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she’s on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire, and wants Dolssa executed, too.
Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town of Bajas.
When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers. But all of Botille’s tricks, tales, and cleverness can’t protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon Bajas, Dolssa’s passion and Botille’s good intentions could destroy the entire village.
To start, I must also say I listened to this as an audiobook and the narrators were absolutely wonderful. Along with them and the text itself I just fell into this book– I was quite taken with it. I really just wanted to lay down and listen for hours, being sucked into this dense and rich world.
Really, the writing was so well done. From the first minute I was intrigued. Ten minutes in, I was in shock over how invested I was in this book dealing with religion! I honestly thought I wouldn’t care about this book because of the subject, but no– far from it.
This book is an absolute treasure, one you want to savor yet devour at the same time.
This book also shows the strength of women accurately for the time period they are in, yet still shows that women are powerful. This is definitely a historical fiction, but does have traces of — I would say fantasy, but what others might say is a show of religion. So, take the fantasy aspect with a grain of salt!!
Honestly, this is how And I darken by Kiersten White should have been written. I only compare because I read these two books so close together.
Recommend? YES!! I really think many people will like this or find it enjoyable. If you like realistic novels, historical fiction, and/or strong women leads I think you will enjoy this.