In the year 1203, nine companions set out on a great pilgrimage. The journey —on foot, on horseback and by sea — is fraught with danger. Not all of them will come home.
Among them is Gatty, whose whole life has been spent working in the fields. Bright, eager and resolute, with the singing voice of an angel, she is at the heart of this enthralling novel that sweeps across Europe towards Jerusalem. We come to know the pilgrims intimately —their bickering, praying and joking, their fear and exhaustion, their loyalty and sacrifice as they face thieves and storms and precipices, a vicious attack and a heartbreaking bereavement. Gatty's curiosity and reckless impulsiveness land her in danger, yet she is transformed by her experiences and by her exposure to new people and new ideas. How can she go back to her old life in the Welsh Marshes after this? And will she see again the one person she can tell her
This is the most marvellous of Kevin Crossley-Holland's novels, painting a picture of the medieval world, of Christians and Muslims, the great and the humble, that is dazzlingly vivid, humorous and full of startling insights. And in Gatty —
CLAUDIA RENTON trained as a choral singer. Without any formal training Claudia won a part in the BBC dramatization of The Cazales - her favourite book since she was ten. Her natural talent and enthusiasm have ensured frequent appearances on stage and screen since: she is a regular in the Granada series Distant Shores, and has appeared in the films 1969, You're In There, Extra Pepper and Dead Bolt Dead. She recently appeared on stage in the RSC's production of Thomas Middleton's Women Beware Women: it was her singing as Ganymede in this which drew attention to her suitabilty for the challenge of reading (and singing) Gatty'sTale.beloved already by readers of the Arthur trilogy — we meet a living, breathing girl who must surely rank as one of the great fictional heroines.
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