Parents' Guide to

A True and Faithful Narrative

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Engrossing read with strong 17th-century heroine.

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Written in a formal, exacting style meant to give a flavor of the time period without actually resorting to post-Shakespearean language, this sequel is not for reluctant readers. Those with more experience will find it thoroughly engrossing, and it stands well on its own for those who haven't read the first book. A TRUE AND FAITHFUL NARRATIVE combines a winning heroine who is independent but not anachronistic, a detailed glimpse of Reformation England, romance, adventure, literary references, and a bold shift of viewpoint.

That change of perspective, embodied in Edward's mixed feelings about his ordeal and his open-minded understanding of Muslim culture (at odds with the beliefs of his friends and family), gives the book depth and resonance with our own times. Without once sounding didactic, the author gives modern readers as much to think about as she gives Meg, and discussion groups will have much to debate in Edward's painful revelations of the world he has experienced so brutally.

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