Title: The Sworn Virgin
Author: Kristopher Dukes
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: August 8, 2017 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "When 18-year-old
Diana’s father is mysteriously shot dead in the cobblestone streets of
1910s Albania, Diana must abandon her dream of studying art in Italy as
she struggles to survive in a remote mountain village with her
Nearing starvation, Mirlinda secretly sells
Diana into marriage with Edi, the cruel heir of a powerful clan. Rather
than lose her freedom, Diana swears to remain a virgin for the rest of
her life, a tradition that gives her the right to live as a man: she is
now head of her household, can work for a living and carry a gun. She
may participate in the vengeful blood feuds that consume the mountain
tribes, but she may not be killed—unless she forsakes her vow.
an ill stranger stumbles into her life, she nurses him back to health,
saving his life but risking her own when she falls in love with him. . ."
My Two Cents:
"The Sworn Virgin" is the story of Eleanora, a woman who chooses to live as a "sworn virgin," a tradition that will allow her to basically be the master of her own destiny and be in control of her own life as long as she keeps to her promise. But promises are hard to keep and love may find her whether she wants it to or not.
I was very interested in the custom of "sworn virgins" in Albania. It is a concept that I had never heard of before. It's so interesting to me to learn about new customs like this through books. "Sworn Virgins" could carry guns (something that gets our heroine into a lot of trouble in the book). They could wear men's clothing and could work the way that men are allowed to. I really liked all of the detail that the author packed into this book about the custom.
While the story and historical context was interesting, the writing felt a little stiff in some places. There would be passages that would flow very nicely and then others that seemed to get mired into telling rather than showing. Eleanora is a strong character and I liked that but a lot of her strength is explained rather than shown, which did take me out of the book a little.
Overall, this was a fascinating subject that I would love to read more about!