It’s the year 1095, and fifteen-year-old Anna longs for a different life in her small German village. But as the seasons turn, the year proves anything but ordinary. Her beloved youngest cousin disappears, and another cousin, Martin, runs away to join a murderous army of renegade Crusaders.
When Anna risks everything to rescue Leah, an orphaned Jewish girl whose only connection to her former life is a silver cup, the two girls forge a friendship that defies the intolerance of their time. Filling her story with fascinating period details, debut novelist Constance Leeds paints a rich, colorful picture of an eleventh-century life marked by courage, will, and most of all—hope.
What Kirkus has to say . . .
“Fifteen-year-old Anna lives in a small German village in 1095, a year that will bring great changes. Her cousin Thomas disappears mysteriously and Anna suspects her Aunt Agnes of foul play. Then her cousin Martin joins an army of Crusaders that destroys the Jewish community in nearby Worms. Eight hundred lives are lost in three days, but Anna discovers one little girl who survived the horrific violence, and they become friends. Debut novelist Leeds’s rich, sensory prose captures a time and place in a wealth of particular details, from everyday domestic life to the violence directed at the Jews along the Rhine, depicted quite graphically. Anna seems a girl of her times, with what feels like an authentic medieval outlook on her world. The motivations of the Crusaders and the excesses possible in a holy war are related clearly. Seasons change and friendship grows, and Anna’s story becomes one of courage, kindness and hope in her corner of the medieval world.”
Congratulations, Constance! I wish you the very best for your wonderful novel!