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The Maiden of All Our Desires
- Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
- Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
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Fourteenth-century Europe. The Black Death has killed half the known world, and in an isolated convent, a small group of nuns spends their days in work, austerity, and devotion, chanting the Liturgy of the Hours. But their community is threatened. Rumors of heresy and a scandalous Book of Ursula, based on the teachings of the charismatic former abbess and founder of the order, have prompted the male church hierarchy to launch an investigation. The priest assigned to minister to the nuns, Father Francis, who is wracked by guilt for an unspeakable crime committed during the lawless plague years, was no friend of Ursula and can't be counted on to defend the order. Disrespect and rebellion infect some novices, and the youngest among them pines for the bishop's chief inquisitor. And Mother John, the convent's aging spiritual leader, fears she's losing her mind after experiencing a vision that brings back her own rebellious past.
As events unfold over the course of a single day, a blizzard that has swept across Europe will break over the convent, endangering the women there and testing their faith. In this astonishing novel, the author of the award-winning Songs for the Butcher's Daughter explores the territory between faith and freedom, and how the horrific events of history shape individual lives.
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- A reader
Interesting story but terrible narrator
I downloaded this because I'd read excellent reviews of the novel - Peter Manseau is a respected academic and clearly years of research has gone into this vivid novel. But I did find the story difficult to follow and at least part of this was because of the narration. I don't like to be critical of narrators because I'm sure a lot of work goes into recording these kinds of books, but I couldn't understand much of the narration - the words fall into each other and the pronunciation in general is so weird that it completely distracts from the plot. Some of the characters are quite well defined by the narrator but the book's descriptive passages sound so mumbled that I found it unlistenable to in the end.
1 person found this helpful
I loved this book
Beautiful story, beautifully written. I had to re-listen to the last two chapters to make sure I understood the ending. Great.