Cover image for Peregrine
Goodman, Joan E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
Physical Description:
222 pages : maps ; 22 cm
In 1144, fifteen-year-old Lady Edith, having lost her husband and child and anxious to avoid marrying a man she detests, sets out from her home in Surrey to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
General Note:
Sequel to: The winter hare.
Reading Level:
650 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.9 7.0 52018.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.7 12 Quiz: 22869 Guided reading level: NR.
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Driven by fear that King Stephen will force her to marry the odious Sir Runcival, fifteen-year-old Lady Edith takes leave of Cheswick Manor. In the year 1144 she and her faithful nurse, Dame Joan, set forth on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In going, Edith hopes to close the door on her secret sorrows. Almost at once the pilgrims are waylaid in the King's Forest by Rhiannon, a wild girl who will play a vital role in Edith's life. As they travel from the abbeys and manors of England into unfamiliar lands, Edith finds herself learning and growing in unexpected ways. And though shrines and relics are not what she'd sought, the Holy City of Jerusalem has something wondrous and important to reveal to her.

Author Notes

Joan Elizabeth Goodman has written several novels of highly acclaimed historical fiction. She lives with her husband and their two children in New York City.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-10. This companion to The Winter Hare (1996) takes up the story of 15-year-old Lady Edith, who has lost a husband and a baby, and is on the run from an odious suitor. In the twelfth century, one of the few ways a woman could get away was to go on a pilgrimage, and so Edith decides to take her loyal woman servant to Jerusalem. Traveling with them is Edith's brother; a monk and others from his monastery; Sir Raymond, a bodyguard; and Rhiannon, a strange Welsh girl who has attached herself to Lady Edith. The mystery surrounding Rhiannon is a compelling part of the book, more intriguing than the internal struggle Edith faces as she tries to come to terms with the loss of her child. But most invigorating is the journey itself: through England, France, Italy, and, finally, the Holy Land. Goodman plucks from history some strong women for Edith to meet along the way, and these characters balance the woman-as-chattel aspects of the story. A less successful device is the Jewish man, Judah, who becomes the group's guide in the Holy Land. The subplot involving the brotherly love that flows from group to guide seems unlikely. The book is at its best when it is true to the times, offering its own tapestry of medieval life. See the review of William's The Executioner's Daughter, below, and the Read-alikes column on the opposite page. --Ilene Cooper

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-10-This sequel to The Winter Hare (Houghton, 1996) is set in 1144, as Lady Edith, 15, her former nursemaid, and her companions set out on a pilgrimage from England to Jerusalem. Lady Edith has recently lost her husband and her infant child, and is desperately seeking something she cannot name and trying to escape a forced second marriage. At the beginning of the journey, the young widow is accosted by a wild woman who runs out of the woods and begs for protection. Against the advice of everyone in the party, she accepts the girl, who turns out to be a Welsh noblewoman, Rhiannon, who is also running from a life that others have chosen for her. Rhiannon has the ability to read Edith's thoughts and serves as her "helper" or "guide" as she goes on her heroic journey ¬Ö la Joseph Campbell. Edith is searching for spiritual guidance, yet when she finally reaches the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, her problems are not magically solved. Rhiannon helps her realize that she is holding on to her grief over her child. Once Edith is able to let go, she finds peace. Historical figures and places are smoothly woven into the story, as the party travels through England, France, Italy, Jerusalem, etc. A map on the flyleaf shows the pilgrims,' or peregrines,' route. The story would be a great companion to Frances Temple's The Ramsay Scallop (Orchard, 1994), and is quite similar in theme to Katherine Paterson's Jacob Have I Loved (Crowell, 1980) with its message about grace and redemption.-Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.