Reading guide for The Maid by Kimberly Cutter

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

The Maid

A Novel of Joan of Arc

by Kimberly Cutter

The Maid
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2011, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2012, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. How does Jehanne's faith evolve? How do others view her faith? How did you?

  2. Could Jehanne have performed such feats today as she did then? Are there contemporary equivalents? If someone came to you today and told you she was hearing voices, what would you do? Would you believe her, or commit her? Would it make a difference if that person were a person of faith, either Catholic or Muslim or Jewish?

  3. Look at the instances in which Jehanne performs violent acts. How are these portrayed? Do you believe Jehanne killed in battle, as The Maid suggests? "'You miraculous creature, you've done it.' 'God did it,' Jehanne said, thinking of the dead man with the knife in his throat. Thinking, But who did that? Did He or did I?" (p. 209). Is it possible to kill and still be pure, a saint? What absolves Jehanne of those murders, if so?

  4. Why are the men's clothing and the suit of armor so important to Jehanne? How does she transform according to what she has on? How does clothing define us?

  5. "You think there's such a thing as a good war, a justified war? You think there's such a thing as honest blood?" (p. 266). Does Jehanne believe there is? Do you? Compare the war Jehanne fought to the wars ongoing today. Are there any similarities?

  6. Why do the voices desert Jehanne? What sort of doubt does Jehanne struggle with and why do you think she had to go through that? Did Jehanne ever err in her faith or her responsibilities? Were these human fallibilities? What elevated her to sainthood?

  7. Jehanne was burned at the stake, the townspeople shouting, "Witch!" What is the fine line between being a witch and a saint? How does that tie into Jehanne's doubt later in the novel? Consider also the many other stories of witch trials and how they were similar to or different than Jehanne's trial.

  8. Why is it so important that Jehanne remain a virgin? Was she? Does it matter?

  9. Did Jehanne really hear voices or was she mentally ill? What do you think? What does the author believe?

  10. How is the Joan of Arc portrayed in The Maid different or similar to the Joan of Arc you knew before reading the novel? What did you learn? What makes Kimberly Cutter's version of events unique? Can you learn more from a novel than you can from a biography? What liberties does the novelist have in situations like this?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Mariner Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Hundred Years' War

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers were uniformly impressed by this difficult yet heartwarming ...
  • Book Jacket: Boy Erased
    Boy Erased
    by Garrard Conley
    Growing up in rural Arkansas, Garrard Conley did not quite fit the mold of his strait-laced, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Bones of Grace
    The Bones of Grace
    by Tahmima Anam
    The Bones of Grace completes Tahmima Anam's Bangladesh trilogy. The three novels, which can be ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach

    "An auspicious, gut-wrenching, wonderful debut." - Kirkus, starred review

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & 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.

 
X

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.