Cover image for The raging quiet
The raging quiet
Jordan, Sherryl.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1999.
Physical Description:
266 pages ; 24 cm
Suspicious of sixteen-year-old Marnie, a newcomer to their village, the residents accuse her of witchcraft when she discovers that the village madman is not crazy but deaf and she begins to communicate with him through hand gestures.
Reading Level:
830 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.6 13.0 29949.

Reading Counts RC High School 5.2 16 Quiz: 19219 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Marnie comes to the remote fishing hamlet of Torcurra as the reluctant bride of Isake Isherwood, a lord of her parents' farm. But two days later, while thatching the roof, Isake falls to his death. Marnie's only kindness comes from Father Brannan, the village priest, and Raver, the strange mad boy whose incoherent cries belie his gentle heart. Taking him in one windy night, Marnie makes a startling discovery: Raver is not mad but deaf. Determined to communicate with the boy whom Marnie now calls Raven, she invents a system of hand-words. Raven learns quickly and has soon all but shed his madness. Yet while Marnie and Raven forge a deep bond, the villagers, already suspicious of Marnie's role in Isake's death, see his transformation as the result of witchcraft. Even as Marnie's and Raven's bond turns to love, and as they uncover the mysterious value of their cottage, Marnie is forced into a witchcraft trial where the test of the iron bar will determine her fate. Set in the times when magic was a force to be reckoned with, The Raging Quiet is the epic saga of a remarkable woman whose only crime is being different.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Gr. 8^-12. In this dramatic novel set in the Middle Ages, 16-year-old Marnie, recently widowed, is committed to making the best of things in her new small village by the sea. When she befriends the local madman, Raven, whom the villagers believe to be possessed by the devil, she, too, is shunned; only the town priest offers friendship and support. However, Marnie discovers Raven is not mad but deaf, and she develops a unique system of hand gestures to communicate with him. As their friendship grows, so do the townspeople's suspicions: they decide that Marnie is a witch; yet Marnie perseveres, determined that neither she nor Raven will become victims of ignorance and hatred. This well-written novel is an irresistible historical romance that also offers important messages about love, acceptance, respect, and the tragic repercussions of closed minds. Marnie is an appealing character, admirable for her open-mindedness, integrity, and courage. Eloquent, descriptive prose draws readers into the period, and through memorable, well-defined characters, Jordan effectively illustrates the timeless dangers of targeting individuals for being different--of allowing fears, not reason, to dictate behavior. --Shelle Rosenfeld

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a starred review, PW said, "The author transports readers to a craggy seaside town for this sweeping story of a blossoming friendship between a young woman outsider and a young man whom the townsfolk deem mad." Ages 12-up. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-When a headstrong young woman accused of witchcraft befriends a deaf young man believed to be possessed by the devil, a turbulent yet deeply satisfying romance evolves. Richly realized and evocative. (May) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-A historical novel set during the Middle Ages. Marnie, 16, is forced to marry an older man due to a series of family misfortunes. After just two days with her drunken husband, she prays that something will happen so that he will no longer desire her. That very day he falls from a ladder to his death. In terror, she goes to the village priest, crying out that she is at fault for Isake's demise. Three old women overhear her and set the gossip mill in motion. As these tragic events swirl around her, Marnie gets to know Raver, a young man viewed as an idiot by the villagers, who beat him mercilessly to "whip his devils out." Marnie pities him at first, and fears him a little, until she deduces that he is deaf. She renames him Raven and invents "hand words" that become their own private language. Their relationship, plus the strange signs they constantly make, convince the villagers that Marnie is a witch who must be destroyed. This highly absorbing story has well-realized characters that come fully alive. Marnie is smart, independent, and strong willed. Raven is quick and intelligent, but naive. As their friendship deepens into love, an innocent but very real sensuality surfaces. There are rich details here about living conditions in the Middle Ages. The powerlessness of the peasants and the superstitions fostered by the Church, including a trial for witchcraft, are vividly portrayed. This is an ageless story about the power of love that should leave a satisfying and lasting impression on its readers.-Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.