The Good Men by Charmaine Craig

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Synopsis

Charmaine Craig was studying medieval history at Harvard when she first encountered the startling testimony of Grazida Lizier, a young woman tried by the Inquisition in 1320. Even after she was accepted into the MFA program at the University of California at Irvine, Craig found she couldn't stop thinking about the seven-hundred-year-old document and knew she had to write a novel based on it. The Good Men is the gripping, epic story of what happened when religious persecution turned Christian against Christian and neighbor against neighbor in Montaillou, a small village in south-west France. Three generations of characters are torn between desires for spiritual grace and fleshly pleasure.

Historically accurate and pitch-perfect, The Good Men movingly dramatizes how relatively small, and at times barely comprehensible, differences in faith served as the impetus behind a tragedy of enormous proportions. Charmaine Craig reanimates questions of religious belief and faith that are as relevant now as in the fourteenth century and, in the process, exposes human nature in all its baseness as well as beauty. This remarkable first novel brilliantly evokes a horrific event in history, with a scope and emotional power that call to mind Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.

The Good Men includes an epigraph that discusses the history on which the novel is based, and other apparatus, including maps, a glossary of heretical terms, and two time lines.
 

About Charmaine Craig

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Charmaine Craig was studying medieval history as an undergraduate at Harvard when she read the fourteenth-century testimony of Grazida Lizier. Craig was haunted by the document, and when she entered the MFA program at the University of California at Irvine, she decided to write a novel based on it.
 
Published January 1, 2002 by Riverhead Books. 448 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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This girl goes on to have a relationship with Pierre for virtually her entire life, eventually mothering another girl, whom Pierre begins to lust after when she is only seven.

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Chronicling the uncertainties and ethical crises of a village rector in early 14th-century France who struggles as much with his bodily yearnings as with his spiritual needs, this heady novel draws on depositions given during the French Inquisition to fictionalize the strange story of the Cathars...

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