Our book club, The Church Chicks, just finished Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. We all loved it, and it elicited so much discussion yesterday. Set in the Middle Ages, it is the story of Tom the Builder, whose dream is to build a cathedral and Philip, a monk who hires Tom and encourages him through many trials. It is a long book, but it is a page turner full of twists and turns worth of Follett. It is not for the squeamish with so many historical details about how the people lived--definitely not your Hollywood version. I am so glad I live in a cleaner time and am not sleeping on the floor in straw teeming with lice, vermin, and rats. There are some sex scenes--not too obscene, but maybe a bit much for those used to reading Christian fiction. He has a sequel World Without End which we will probably read next summer.
I teamed it with the John Newbery book this year: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village. A beautiful books of 19 monologues for middle school reader's theater. Written by Laura Amy Schlitz, a librarian who wrote it for use in her school which was doing a school-wide project on the Middle Ages. I love it when good books come together.