PEREGRINE by Joan Elizabeth Goodman


Age Range: 12 - 14
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In a sequel to her earlier Winter’s Hare (1996), Goodman has written a sensitive, informative, and profoundly moving portrayal of a 14-year-old widow on pilgrimage during the 12th century. Lady Edith’s husband and baby girl have recently died, but she cannot shed tears over their deaths. Feeling threatened by an obnoxious older, powerful man, Sir Runcival, who will force her to marry him, Edith goes on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Ostensibly putting herself out of his reach, she’s also unwittingly running from her sorrow. A strange wild girl, Rhiannon, begs for Edith’s protection as they travel through the English forest, and Edith takes her in. Rhiannon sees that Edith has buried her grief over her lost baby and prods her to face up to the loss. At last, as she visits Christ’s tomb, Edith allows herself to mourn for her lost child as Mary had mourned for hers, thus releasing herself from the silent torment that has stifled her life. Edith’s physical journey to Jerusalem parallels her emotional one. Goodman’s deft handling of Edith’s emotional turmoil lifts the book to a level beyond most popular young-adult novels. It would make a good companion to Francis Temple’s The Ramsay Scallop (1994) and would serve as a fitting introduction to The Canterbury Tales. Readers will not have had to read the earlier novel to enjoy this sequel. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-395-97729-0
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2000


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