The Tapestry Shop

Written by Joyce Elson Moore
Review by Liz Allenby

A medieval love story, The Tapestry Shop weaves the growing devotion between Adam de la Halle, a trouvere (troubadour), and shopkeeper’s daughter Catherine. After his political exile, Adam returns to Arras only to find his wife Maroie inhabiting another man’s bed. In the meantime, Adam encounters Catherine, who is soon to marry her father’s choice, the farmer Guillame. Adam and Catherine find mutual attraction in each other’s company, yet they are parted as Catherine must marry Guillame. Fighting his desire for Catherine, Adam heads for the university as a protégé of King Louis’s nephew.

Catherine finds herself married to the cruel Guillame, and she ends up killing him as he assaults her with a knife in a drunken rage. Adam and the now single Catherine encounter each other, yet Catherine desires to join the king’s last crusade. Adam must watch her leave him again, as yet still unsatisfied until the last unexpected encounter with his true love.

Rich in historical references and detail, this novel reflects tremendous research and familiarity with medieval France. Joyce Elson Moore delights the reader through her use of the sights, smells, and sounds of the 13th century. The novel’s pacing never wavers – the reader chases through every scene in hopes the lovers will be united once again and forever. Basing her main character on the historical figure Adam de la Halle, the author’s meticulous research of Arras and the medieval ruins shines through in this detailed and compelling tale.