Elmina's Fire: A Novel

She Writes Press
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What happens when a troubled young woman dares to follow the stirrings of her soul in turbulent times? Elmina begins life with a troubled childhood in a medieval French town—a childhood that turns her into a spiritually seeking young woman who dares to follow the stirrings of her soul. Her idealism and love lead her to leave a Cathar school and follow the man who will become Saint Dominic. As the world around her erupts into the Albigensian Crusade, Elmina finds herself complicit in its horror, and her spiritual and emotional life begins to unravel. With the aid of the counsel of her wise prior, Brother Noel, Elmina learns to paint her experiences within a sacred circle—a practice that helps her discover the origins of her lifelong fears and wrestle with questions that are as divisive today as they were eight centuries ago: the nature of God, the purpose of creation, the nature of evil, and the possibility of reincarnation.
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About the author

Linda Carleton graduated from Yale Divinity School, was ordained in the United Church of Christ, and formerly worked in refugee resettlement. She now lives in Portland, Maine, where she teaches, writes, and offers workshops on mandala journaling and spiritual growth. Linda strives to integrate her own Christian faith with the world’s diverse spiritual teachings and to help the world heal from its history of religious abuse.

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Additional Information

Publisher
She Writes Press
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Published on
Jun 13, 2017
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Pages
330
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ISBN
9781631521911
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Alternative History
Fiction / Christian / Historical
Fiction / Visionary & Metaphysical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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What if the man you loved betrayed your brother?

Two thousand years ago, while a young Jewish preacher from Nazareth was gathering followers among the people of Galilee, his sister swept floors and dreamed of learning to read.

In Leslie Cannold's story, it is the women of Nazareth who take centre stage: the rebellious, gifted Rachael, consigned by her sex to a life of drudgery; Bindy, the crone who teaches her the skills of the healer; Shona her sister, the victim of a harsh social code; and their mother Miriame, a woman seemingly unable to love.

When Rachael falls in love with her brother's dearest friend, the rebel Judah of Iscariot, it seems that at least one of the women of Nazareth may find happiness. Then a message comes from her brother in Jerusalem. And the events begin to unfold that will change not just Rachael's life, but the world-forever.

Dr Leslie Cannold is a an author, commentator, ethicist, researcher and social activist. Her non-fiction works include the award-winning The Abortion Myth and What, No Baby? She appears regularly in radio, television and print. Leslie is an adjunct Fellow at the School of Philosophy, Anthropology and Social Inquiry at the University of Melbourne, and senior lecturer at the Monash Institute of Health Services Research. She is President of Reproductive Choice Australia, a national coalition of pro-choice organisations that played a key role in removing the ban on the abortion drug RU486 in 2006, and of Pro Choice Victoria, which was instrumental in the decriminalisation of abortion in Victoria in 2008. She is also a Dying with Dignity ambassador for law reform. Leslie is the lead singer of the Melbourne-based rock cover band Speedy Fish.

'Passionate, eloquent and compelling, a terrific idea beautifully realised - I couldn't put it down.' Liz Byrski

'Cannold walks an interesting line between faith and history here, as she explores an alternative Virgin birth storyline (what happens to unmarried women in this society who fall pregnant means, inevitably, that they are keen to stress the intervention of a god).' Independent

'This retelling of the Jesus story will resonate with women of faith who wish to forge their own path and stay true to their values...This is a good pick for readers who enjoyed Anita Diamant's The Red Tent or Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers.' Library Journal

'Cannold offers a thought-provoking, heartfelt, and tragic but redemptive tale about the difficulties of discovering and defining one’s identity in a world that seeks unendingly to take that decision away.' Publishers Weekly

'There are dangers in attempting to fictionalise such a well-loved story as the life of Christ. First, the resulting account might offend. It might collapse into cliche. Or it might be filled with contemporary sensibilities, creating a world too familiar to our own. Though The Book of Rachael skirts each of these minefields, it is testament to the literary skills of Leslie Cannold that this debut novel avoids them.' Courier Mail

'The church has spent millenia writing women out of history. In the wonderful Book of Rachael, Leslie Cannold returns them to their rightful place at the centre of one of our most powerful stories.' Sophie Cunningham

"Splendid" —New York Times
"Mind-bending." —Wall Street Journal
"Brilliantly original. The best new novel I've read this year." —Salman Rushdie

A daring, kaleidoscopic novel about the clash of empires and ideas, told through a tennis match in the sixteenth century between the radical Italian artist Caravaggio and the Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo, played with a ball made from the hair of the beheaded Anne Boleyn.

The poet and the artist battle it out in Rome before a crowd that includes Galileo, a Mary Magdalene, and a generation of popes who would throw the world into flames. In England, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII execute Anne Boleyn, and her crafty executioner transforms her legendary locks into those most-sought-after tennis balls. Across the ocean in Mexico, the last Aztec emperors play their own games, as the conquistador Hernán Cortés and his Mayan translator and lover, La Malinche, scheme and conquer, fight and f**k, not knowing that their domestic comedy will change the course of history. In a remote Mexican colony a bishop reads Thomas More’s Utopia and thinks that it’s a manual instead of a parody. And in today’s New York City, a man searches for answers to impossible questions, for a book that is both an archive and an oracle.

Álvaro Enrigue’s mind-bending story features assassinations and executions, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bawdy criminals, carnal liaisons and papal schemes, artistic and religious revolutions, love and war. A blazingly original voice and a postmodern visionary, Enrigue tells the grand adventure of the dawn of the modern era, breaking down traditions and upending expectations, in this bold, powerful gut-punch of a novel.

Game, set, match.

“Sudden Death is the best kind of puzzle, its elements so esoteric and wildly funny that readers will race through the book, wondering how Álvaro Enrigue will be able to pull a novel out of such an astonishing ball of string.  But Enrigue absolutely does; and with brilliance and clarity and emotional warmth all the more powerful for its surreptitiousness.” 
—Lauren Groff, New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies

"Engrossing... rich with Latin and European history." —The New Yorker

"[A] bawdy, often profane, sprawling, ambitious book that is as engaging as it is challenging.” —Vogue
In this enchanting sequel to the number one bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom tells the story of Eddie’s heavenly reunion with Annie—the little girl he saved on earth—in an unforgettable novel of how our lives and losses intersect.

Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom’s beloved novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie’s journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie’s story.

The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie’s life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally  found happiness.

As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey—and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed.

Poignant and beautiful, filled with unexpected twists, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven reminds us that not only does every life matter, but that every ending is also a beginning—we only need to open our eyes to see it.

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