About the Book:
Marj Charlier’s The Rebel Nun is based on the true story of Clotild, the daughter of a sixth-century king and his concubine, who leads a rebellion of nuns against the rising misogyny and patriarchy of the medieval church.
At that time, women are afforded few choices in life: prostitution, motherhood, or the cloister. Only the latter offers them any kind of independence. By the end of the sixth century, even this is eroding as the church begins to eject women from the clergy and declares them too unclean to touch sacramental objects or even their priest-husbands.
Craving the legitimacy thwarted by her bastard status, Clotild seeks to become the next abbess of the female Monastery of the Holy Cross, the most famous of the women’s cloisters of the early Middle Ages. When the bishop of Poitiers blocks her appointment and seeks to control the nunnery himself, Clotild masterminds an escape, leading a group of uncloistered nuns on a dangerous pilgrimage to beg her royal relatives to intercede on their behalf. But the bishop refuses to back down, and a bloody battle ensues. Will Clotild and her sisters succeed with their quest, or will they face excommunication, possibly even death?
In the only historical novel written about the incident, The Rebel Nun is a richly imagined story about a truly remarkable heroine.
Guest Reviewer Sara’s Thoughts:
I love the title and premise of this story. A woman determined to legitimize herself and improve the circumstances of her sisters in a time when women were not considered, at all. Having been raised by strong women, Clotild had all the makings of a heroine. The imagery exuded the oppression, tyranny, corruption and deviousness of the era so well that I felt it viscerally. I felt that it took a long time for Clotild to come into her courage. Her self doubt and lack of confidence overshadowed her heroism and made for a realistic but labored read.
With my new found interest in medieval stories, particularly those based on actual people, I was disappointed in the way I felt after reading The Rebel Nun. I wondered if the current state of the world influenced my mood while reading this. The Rebel Nun is certainly worth a re-read when life around us brightens up.
About the Author: Writing fiction is Marj Charlier’s third career. She has written eleven novels, ten published so far, each one about and for women. She continues to write, but also publishes books for other people under her indie imprint, Sunacumen Press (a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association).
Marj has a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State, a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from Regis University in Denver. She worked at small and mid-sized dailies before joining the Wall Street Journal as a staff reporter. After twenty years in journalism, she began a second career in corporate finance.
She was born in Iowa, have lived in eight states and four of the country’s largest cities, and now lives in Palm Springs, CA, with her husband, Ben.
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