Reader reviews and comments on Holy Fools, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Holy Fools

A Novel

by Joanne Harris

Holy Fools
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2004, 368 pages
    May 2005, 384 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 1 of 1
There is 1 reader review for Holy Fools
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Stephen Braithwaite (08/14/04)

The Book "Holy Fools" by Joanne Harris, is set in in France in the 1600
and something, in Gothic times of plague and the burning of witches.
The main character, Juliette, is an ever resourceful gypsy woman who
grew up in show business. Traveling circuses such as hers were loved
but blamed for plague and theft. Together with the second main
character "Le Merle", they narrowly escape being burnt at the stake by
means of cunning and deceit. La Merle uses trickery and theatrical
manipulation to fleece peasants and the church alike.

After a disaster, Juliette is pregnant and retires to an abbey under a
fake identity living peacefully for years until the death of the
abbess. The replacement is a 13 year old girl appointed as abbess by
the bishop, and she is aided by a priest. But the good father is no
priest, he is Le Merle, with plans for a revenge.

Le Merle uses theater and trickery to cause fear, mistrust and
wickedness amongst the nuns the abbey. He is perceived as the anchor,
the rock - in the fight against illness, unholy occurrences and Satan's
minions. Juliette finds herself accused of witchcraft, is blackmailed
with her child and is almost powerless as she attempts to expose La
Merle. The hate and fear brought to life by La Merle becomes self
perpetuating and takes on a life of its own.

Holy Fools could not have been about the war on terror, because it was
released in 2000, before Sept 11th 2001. But had it been released
today, the parallels would be impossible to ignore. When I read it, it
seemed like a brilliant commentary on the self perpetuating War on

I found myself totally enraptured by this book, and so I shall give it a
five star rating.
  • Page
  • 1

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hag-Seed
    by Margaret Atwood
    There's a scene in The Tempest that many critics have concluded is indicative of Shakespeare&#...
  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.