Far from Home

Written by Joy Bounds

Far From Home is a story of Joan of Arc written from her mother’s view, relating Joan’s early life—a period of history in a feudal society when religion played a major part of everyday life. Joan is portrayed as a person whose dreams and fancies are not understood by those around her.

The novel appears to be very well researched where the period detail and the dynamics of Joan’s family are concerned. What happened to the family before and after Joan’s death was intriguing. I felt that the story was a little slow in places, however, and I would have liked more of Joan’s life, the trials and tribulations she faced, to be written from a closer perspective than the rumours that her mother was privy to, and I can’t help thinking that the story would have been even more engrossing if seen through the eyes of Joan’s two brothers (who were in battle with her) as well.

There are two minor issues that I would pick up on from an historian’s point of view, anachronisms that could jolt the reader out of the sense of period that the author is trying to convey. At one point, a messenger compares Joan to a tiger—would her mother have known what a tiger was? Also, the mention of a kaleidoscope pattern through leaves is slightly incongruous—there were no telescopes in this period, therefore no kaleidoscopes either.

All in all, this was a good story and a slower-paced, thought-provoking novel, but a further edit could pick up on a couple of repetitive scenes. Overall, I enjoyed the read. This is a professionally produced book with no more than a few typos, which shows that care and attention has been taken to edit and proofread the work. A worthwhile read though for Joan of Arc followers.