Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction/Poetry
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication: March 26th 2019
My Rating: 4/5
Author David Elliott explores how Joan of Arc changed the course of history and remains a figure of fascination centuries after her extraordinary life and death.
Told through medieval poetic forms and in the voices of the people and objects in Joan of Arc’s life, (including her family and even the trees, clothes, cows, and candles of her childhood). Along the way it explores issues such as gender, misogyny, and the peril of speaking truth to power. Before Joan of Arc became a saint, she was a girl inspired. It is that girl we come to know in Voices.
Thank you HMHTeen for providing an advance copy at Yallfest. All opinions are my own
This book is unlike anything I have read before. Through the narrative of poetry, we learn about feminist icon Joan of Arc — her struggles, her dreams and how people and objects viewed her.
I am not a big fan of poetry because sometimes I feel that poetry doesn’t express a story the way prose does. But David Elliott managed to blend prose and poetry in a captivating manner that before I knew it I had reached the final page of Voices.
If you love Joan of Arc but know very little of her because The Song of Joan of Arc is a bit intimidating this is the perfect book for you. Mr. Elliott blends into his novel actual transcripts of The Trial of Condemnation and The Trial of Nullification which allows for the reader to forget that this is historical fiction.
A perfect way to comparison to Voices is the musical Hamilton. Where you are fed history, you learn new information and are captivated. Of course, much like Hamilton, some parts of the story is a work a fiction in order to captivate and entertain a large audience without it being a dense history lesson.
what is most fascinating of this story told in verse is that the stanzas are shaped like the subject — human or inhuman — making it even more compelling. However, sometimes reading the object-shaped stanzas were a bit difficult to read.
This exquisite little book makes you want to learn more about this remarkable woman.