The BookBrowse Review

Published June 22, 2022

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Contents

In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

Highlighting indicates debut books

Editor's Introduction
Reviews
Hardcovers Paperbacks
First Impressions
Latest Author Interviews
Recommended for Book Clubs
Book Discussions

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Literary Fiction


Historical Fiction


Short Stories


Essays


Mysteries


Thrillers


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Biography/Memoir


History, Current Affairs and Religion


Science, Health and the Environment


Travel & Adventure


Young Adults

Literary Fiction

  • Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (rated 4/5)

Thrillers


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Extras
  • Blog:
    6 Novels for Book Clubs That Reflect on Reproductive Rights
  • Wordplay:
    T O Thing W H T F I F I
  • Book Giveaway:
    Win a signed copy of Where the Crawdads Sing
Book Jacket

Joan
A Novel of Joan of Arc
by Katherine J. Chen
5 Jul 2022
368 pages
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Historical Fiction
Critics:
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Girl. Warrior. Heretic. Saint? From the acclaimed author of Mary B comes a stunning, secular reimagining of the epic life of Joan of Arc.

1412. France is mired in a losing war against England. Its people are starving. Its king is in hiding. From this chaos emerges a teenage girl who will turn the tide of battle and lead the French to victory, becoming an unlikely hero whose name will echo across the centuries.

In Katherine J. Chen's hands, the myth and legend of Joan of Arc is transformed into a flesh-and-blood young woman: reckless, steel-willed, and brilliant. This meticulously researched novel is a sweeping narrative of her life, from a childhood steeped in both joy and violence, to her meteoric rise to fame at the head of the French army, where she navigates the perils of the battlefield and the equally treacherous politics of the royal court. Many are threatened by a woman who leads, and Joan draws wrath and suspicion from all corners, while her first taste of fame and glory leaves her vulnerable to her own powerful ambition.

With unforgettably vivid characters, transporting settings, and action-packed storytelling, Joan is a thrilling epic, a triumph of historical fiction, as well as a feminist celebration of one remarkable—and remarkably real—woman who left an indelible mark on history.

"The author of Mary B (2018) eschews hagiography in this very human portrait of Joan of Arc...Making her real requires imagination and empathy, and Chen brings both to the task of putting solid flesh on the charred bones of a legendary figure...An elegant and engaging work of historical fiction." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Revolutionary...Chen masterfully transforms the two-dimensional martyr into a multifaceted woman and warrior." - Booklist (starred review)

"[A] smartly written rendition of the life of Joan of Arc...While some readers may question Chen's reimagining of Joan's character, she does a wonderful job depicting Joan's soldier mentality and fierce heart. Like the passionate protagonist, this is a force to be reckoned with." - Publishers Weekly

"This story is meticulously researched and skillfully told. In Katherine J. Chen's capable hands, Joan becomes fully flesh and achingly real." - Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Friends

"In Chen's transporting prose, you will meet a towering new Joan of Arc, one of amazing physical strength, kindness, loyalty, and endurance." - Sena Jeter Naslund, New York Times bestselling author of Ahab's Wife, Four Spirits, and Abundance

"An epic novel with the mythic power of a fairy tale...gripping, resonant, and illuminating." - Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train and The Exiles

Katherine J. Chen is the author of the novel Mary B. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, and the historical fiction anthology Stories from Suffragette City. She received her MFA from Boston University, where she was a senior teaching fellow and awarded the Florence Engel Randall Fiction Prize.

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