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For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain

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Holy Scripture states that the soul of a righteous person is the seat of God, and the anchorite trusted that the woman was such. Ther may non evyl spyrit gevyn thes tokenys, for Jerom seyth that terys turmentyn mor the devylle than don the peynes of helle. Interestingly, these women did meet in real life, and the latter part of the book deftly imagines their conversation.

It was cool to see their stories draw out in parallel until they finally meet at the end, and how different their lives were but connected by their visions and their faith.Volevo prolungare ogni momento della mia vita per riuscire a sentire il tempo come lo sente Dio: non l’istante che si dissolve all’improvviso, ma qualcosa di più vasto e inclusivo. She was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, as well as being awarded prestigious writing residencies in Scotland, Finland and Australia.

He that is evyrmor dowtyng is lyke to the flood of the see, the whech is mevyd and born abowte wyth the wynd, and that man is not lyche to receyven the gyftys of God. Following His command, she revealed the grace that God had infused into her soul, including compunction, contrition, sweetness, and devotion, along with compassion through holy meditation and high contemplation. The meeting when it happens takes up little of the novella but there’s a sense that these two women, the antithesis of each other, form an immediate bond based on their mutual faith. A novel that brings back to life two extraordinary medieval women, Julian of Norwich and Margery Kemp.

For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain is a brilliant concept, but sadly this little book does not deliver on its premise and was actually quite dull. And so sche dede and schewyd hir the grace that God put in hir sowle of compunccyon, contricyon, swetnesse and devocyon, compassyon wyth holy meditacyon and hy contemplacyon, and ful many holy spechys and dalyawns that owyr Lord spak to hir sowle, and many wondirful revelacyons whech sche schewyd to the ankres to wetyn yf ther wer any deceyte in hem, for the ankres was expert in swech thyngys and good cownsel cowd gevyn. One from the huge amounts of loss she has faced in her life, and one from the huge amount of children she's been forced to have and the burden of womanhood that she struggles under the weight of.

Very accessible and with alternating points of view, it presents the lives of women during that century where reading and writing were skills unavailable to most. From a wealthy background, her life had been marked by tragedy losing many members of her family, including her beloved husband and child, to the waves of pestilence that swept through the fourteenth century.

In an afterword to this striking, elegant novel, Victoria MacKenzie sets out the elevator-pitch version.

Her skill is in creating a story that goes much deeper than its slender spine and spare prose might suggest to not only shine a light on the lives and experiences of two 'ordinary' women, but to draw clear contemporary echoes and parallels - around mental health, grief, motherhood and more - that resonate long after reading * MARIE CLAIRE, The best books of 2023 * This is the best first novel I've read in years. It seems these coincided with the birth of her first child, though to say it was “just” post-partum psychosis is unfair and unwise. While Julian has reached the end of her life by the close of this short novel, Margery still has ahead of her pilgrimages around the world.Here it is not the picaresque and the picturesque but the almost magnetic necessity between the two souls which is key. It also acknowledges the women’s awareness of their flaws and vulnerabilities; despite their faith, they do not feel that they have been chosen. Stories about girlhood, motherhood, sickness, loss, doubt and belief; revelations more powerful than the world is ready to hear. While both wrestle with their relationship to God, I found that this novella both evoked how serious and important these questions were in the late medieval period, and had resonance for modern readers who don’t consider themselves to be religious. Victoria MacKenzie’s ambitious debut reimagines the lives of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, both of whose books are still read and studied many centuries after they were written.

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