Great Maria

Great Maria Courage of a king Strength of a knight Heart of a woman A literary phenomenon New York Times Her father is a robber baron Her husband has grand ambitions and a quick temper She will becomee Great Ma

  • Title: Great Maria
  • Author: Cecelia Holland
  • ISBN: 9781402244469
  • Page: 241
  • Format: Paperback
  • Courage of a king, Strength of a knight, Heart of a woman A literary phenomenon New York Times Her father is a robber baron Her husband has grand ambitions and a quick temper She will becomee Great Maria A lush portrait of the eleventh century that leaves out none of its harshest nature, Great Maria is Cecelia Holland at her most evocative A merCourage of a king, Strength of a knight, Heart of a woman A literary phenomenon New York Times Her father is a robber baron Her husband has grand ambitions and a quick temper She will becomee Great Maria A lush portrait of the eleventh century that leaves out none of its harshest nature, Great Maria is Cecelia Holland at her most evocative A mere fourteen years old, strong willed Maria is betrothed to Richard Theirs is a marriage of conflict, yet one that grows over the years into respect and partnership As they struggle at times against each other, at times side by side Maria and Richard emerge as full blooded characters you ll never forget What Readers Are Saying Holland s characters are so complex and vividly drawn that the reader actively participates in their adventures An intriguing plot, unforgettable characters, and a wonderful sense of place makes this one of the finest books I have read If Hemingway had written historical fiction, he would have had a hard time beating Ms Holland Her terse, tense writing style is incomparable, and her character development is superb A stunning book Characters so believable, they walk off the page and into the room Few authors can bring the past to life as powerfully as Cecelia Holland I d recommend her to any fans of historical fiction Elizabeth Chadwick, author of The Greatest Knight and To Defy a King This novel s success is assured by its own excellence Library Journal One of the very best historical novelists of our day Larry McMurtry 20100914

    One thought on “Great Maria”

    1. 3.5 starsAs young ladies living in the eleventh century did not decide for themselves who they were going to marry, Maria reluctantly marries the "wrong" brother chosen for her by her father. That is, she marries Richard even though it is his brother Roger she longs for. The marriage is off to a rocky start, but several beatings later, plus a few children and the couple finally settle down in reasonable harmony. She and Roger continue to fancy each other, but Richard is a jealous husband and han [...]

    2. I began writing a review and then forgot to save it when I had to leave the PC. I still intend writing one, but I'm out of time for the moment. But to say in the interim that I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this work. It has stood the test of time and it is very different from the norm. The voice is very powerful and some may find it an acquired taste. Maria is a fantastic heroine - gutsy, earthy, a stubborn survivor who will get her way in the end. Richard manages to be a hero despite doing som [...]

    3. Read on the Nook. I loved this book so much I immediately started re-reading it, something I never do.The scene is 10th century, southern Italy, where Norman lords are coming up against Muslim incursions and starting to beat them back. Maria is the daughter of a Norman robber baron whose castle is in a strategic position. She marries one of her father's knights, and together they embark on a difficult marriage and the task of becoming "great." Sensitive readers be warned: The author does not sug [...]

    4. I've read this book over many times. I originally had a paperback that fell into two pieces which I kept together by means of a large rubber band. Finally found another pbk copy in a used book store, and then a hardcover (which I'd never seen before) on ebay.Maria is a great protagonist - a woman in medieval times learning how to use what power she has. The story starts when she is 14 and her father wants to marry her off in order to cement his power in his small holding. Her relationship with t [...]

    5. Whew! This Maria history takes the meaning of the word "stubborn" to a whole new level of intensity. Couple that adjective with numerous other categories of strident, manipulative, cunning, cruel or forceful. But all are warrior-action related in performance. And seat them all within a 14 year old horse riding and field wandering virgin girl (Maria) of the 11th century medieval Norman/Muslim/German Sicily.It's prose point to length and narration are markedly different than much of this historica [...]

    6. Update: Let me just say, I've reread this book at least 5 times since my original review and each time I'm completely immersed into Maria's world again. She's now my all time favorite character and I judge every new female protagonist by the standard she sets. It's even more amazing when you reread because there are new insights you get everytime (like the fact that Richard loves her a lot more than he lets on). It never gets boring either, with the unconventional structure. I WISH I can find an [...]

    7. Great Maria is the story of a woman during a time when women were expected to be subservient to their husbands – but Maria is anything but that. Maria was strong, opinionated, and took part in many different plots that arose around her. The biggest dynamic of this story is between Maria and her husband Richard. This was a segment that I always looked forward to. That isn’t to say that it was always a positive relationship – but I think you have to look at it in terms of the appropriateness [...]

    8. One of the most remarkable books I have ever read. Cecelia Holland's writing is stellar, and her characters believable and complex. Her thorough research into the era she presents almost offhandedly, which has the effect of immersing us in the 11th century as thoroughly as if we'd entered a time machine. This exploration of marriage and woman's power (or lack thereof) is presented unsentimentally and with great beauty. Maria is a great and unforgettable heroine. As soon as I finished this book, [...]

    9. This is probably my favourite medieval historical novel ever for its excellent period sense. I think she manages to convey the feeling of being a woman in that period pretty much spot on. Recently re-read it.

    10. At the risk of admitting that I am the sort of person who is pleasantly surprised to discover water is wet despite going for a swim once every week or so, it is gratifying to discover, once more, how unromantic a romantic historical novel can be. Great Maria, of all of Cecelia Hollands' novels I've read this far, is certainly the most romantic of her books. Love and the relationship between a man and a woman plays a central role, and it's the first of her books to feature a female protagonist. I [...]

    11. I'm marking this one down as Duly Forgotten.Abandoned with nary a backward glance. I see what the author was going for, but that doesn't mean I want to go along with her. Other reviewers warned about the unusual writing style--lots of tiny, abrupt sentences. To me, the effect this had on the story was that the characters felt small and cut off, too. Eighty pages in, I still didn't really understand any of themd what's worse is that I had no interest in understanding any of them. And then the phy [...]

    12. Astonishing writer, astonishing characters! People have told me for years to read her, but I've been so busy writing that I really didn't do much reading, especially in Historical fiction. Her spare style and period correctness was a sort of holy water pouring over me. She can write prose poetry, though, when she wants to--and she does. I respect the amount of research that went into this book, the complete submersion in period, and how the attitudes and ideas of people of that time--so very lon [...]

    13. In Great Maria, noted historical fiction writer Cecelia Holland brings to life the turbulent 11th century in southern Italy. While the Norman nobles and barons battle each other and the Christians push the Saracens to the sea, Maria, the wife of a Norman knight, bravely faces the immense challenges with fortitude and courage. While Maria lives within the restraints of her time, her hopes and dreams speak to women of any age. Great Maria will appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction that vi [...]

    14. I loved this book! The characters were so well developed that I really cared about them. I'll definitely be reading more by this author. 5+ stars

    15. Maria was one very interesting character! Set in Sicily in the 1000s, the novel revolves around the conflicts of the Normans and the Saracens. I knew nothing about the history of Sicily in this time, so it was interesting to vicariously live it through the novel. Supposedly the novel is based upon the Hauteville family: enpedia/wiki/Hautevil

    16. I really had no idea what this book was about when I got it, but I loved the cover and it only cost me $2.00. The author uses no extra words, no flowery descriptions. The language is stark. At first I thought I wasn't going to like the book for that reason, but it all comes to life so wonderfully. Maria is so real, and I was sorry when it ended. An unexpected pleasure.

    17. Really 3.5Very plot heavy. And it's 500 pages. Almost felt like it had been written in installments---something new has to HAPPEN every month or whatever. And each incident has to be a little more life-threatening? suspenseful?, maybe just "more" than the last. The ending seems to be just, well, that was the last month. There's no resolution, really it just ends. But apparently it was just written as a book. Over 500 pages, there is (as certainly must be) some character development. If you squin [...]

    18. One of my favourite reads as a teenager. Still not too bad when I read it again as an adult. Maria is tough, loving and passionate and no man's doormat. Gotta love that. While some of what happens is pretty politically incorrect to modern eyes, wife-beating was recommended in the middle ages. If you can stomach that, then this one isn't too bad. For the complete review, please go here:epinions/review/Great_

    19. Fought through this one. I found the writing too choppy and that detracted from the story. Also, I found that I was unable to get emotionally connected. By the end, I was just glad I was finished the book.

    20. A Woman's CrusadeThis was my second reading of Great Maria, about 10 years apart. I, again, loved the main character, Maria, but this time, I understood and appreciated how her feminism was skillfully applied to the men who shared her life. Here is a woman in a man's world, without education and relegated to a woman's role, not only to become self aware and self sufficient but never to lose the ability to love in the face of great uncertainty.The story is set in the century between the great cru [...]

    21. It was pretty good, but it was very slow paced and honestly if I hadn't been lying on beach all day doing nothing but reading, I probably wouldn't have been able to pull through. It's driven by character much more than action, and the characters are definitely fully fleshed out, my only major annoyance being Maria's lack of good friends. Though she had a couple of female attendants through the years, most of them were less than impressive. I was a bit annoyed to find out that though it was set i [...]

    22. Cecelia Holland is a well-known writer of historical fiction, whose novels often features male protagonists. Great Maria is one of the few with a female lead character—and what a character she is.The novel takes place in a fictionalized Sicily (the island off the “toe” of present-day Italy) in the 1000’s, during the time the Normans (of French heritage) were fighting the Saracens (Muslims) for dominance. I believe the place names Holland includes are made up, since I could not find them [...]

    23. Giving this three stars might be a stretch for me. It's quite a large book and it spans a lifetime of Maria, but the style of the writer never fell second to the plot. It was always first. I was constantly aware of the style. The sentences are very short and they seem to be cut off before the thought was finished. The writer has someone how (seems almost like a talent alone) made the characters so far out of reach from the reader that it should be the poster child for the distance part of psychi [...]

    24. I finished this book while on vacation and didn't have time to provide a proper review. I really wish I could have found the time because I thoroughly enjoyed this book and this review will be severely lacking. I remember wanting more, much much more of Maria and her family. I wasn't ready for the end and was hoping a 2nd book existed. Not so much!!Maria and her husband were a fantastic team and damn if I didn't lol when she got caught out - he truly knew his wife! The things he did to her were [...]

    25. This book follows Maria, the daughter of a robber baron in the 11th century, from her marriage to finally getting the acknowledgement from her husband that she wanted in the end. It's a very interesting book, different, history told from a woman's point of view. The book does an excellent job of placing Maria's thoughts and reactions in her time period, but also showing that Maria had eyes and while she might go in to a situation with a bunch of prejudices she could be swayed by what she saw bef [...]

    26. I enjoyed this historical novel about Maria, the young daughter of a medieval Norman robber baron who rules in Southern Italy. She marries Richard d'Alene, an unprepossessing but ambitious young knight. Secretly, she prefers his more handsome younger brother Roger, but accepts her lot. Little by little, Richard increases his hold over the area by a combination of successful warfare and enlightened leadership. Maria gradually begins to share some of his power in Robert's absence and becomes indis [...]

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