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SONG FOR ELOISE by Leigh Sauerwein

SONG FOR ELOISE

By Leigh Sauerwein

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-886910-90-1

A superbly crafted tapestry of medieval heartbreak. After a childhood full of affection and light, Eloise is married off to a gruff older man who lives far from her home. Robert adores her but can’t show it. Several characters circle within their own spheres of pain as the days and seasons circle around them all. Robert’s blind mother pads around the fortress, touching everything with her fingers. Eloise’s Uncle John paints holy images as penance for an old sin. Thomas, who knew Eloise when they were children, becomes a trobar (troubadour) and sings his way to Eloise’s castle; their romance is a rush of relief in Eloise’s life but bitterly brief. Religious rituals, references to famous medieval stories, and ongoing reminders of seasonal change (“In August, the night is ten hours long, the day fourteen”) mournfully broaden this short, complex piece beyond its own specifics. (Fiction. YA)