Gatty's Tale

Gatty's Tale

3.78 (645 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback

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In the year 1203, nine pilgrims set out on a pilgrimage. The journey - on foot, on horseback and by sea - is fraught with danger. Not all of them will come safely home. Among them is Gatty, whose whole life has been spent working in the fields. Bright, eager and resolute, she is at the heart of a huge, ambitious novel that sweeps across Europe to Jerusalem. All the pilgrims endure aches and pains, homesickness and terrible loss; they are prey to thieves and murdererers; but it is Gatty, whose impulsiveness lands her in desperate trouble, who is transformed by the experience. With knuckle-biting drama, tremendous emotional highs and lows, and unforgettable characters, Kevin Crossley-Holland paints a wonderfully vivid picture of the world of the Middle Ages that answers the question so many readers have asked, of what happens to Gatty.
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Product details

  • 9+
  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 140 x 218 x 40mm | 580.61g
  • Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 1842552732
  • 9781842552735
  • 788,322

Review quote

'My top pick this month... Kevin Crossley-Holland's depiction of the medieval setting is meticulous, but ultimately this is a novel about heart and song, with the capacity to lift the spirits and move to tears.' -- Nikki Gamble THE BOOKSELLER '[Gatty] rises from the pages, staunch, resolute, frank, sincere and so alive that you feel you could almost touch her... an epic, sweeping book, perfectly realised.' -- Jill Murphy THEBOOKBAG.CO.UK 'The fourth and final part of this remarkable series of books based on Arthurian legends. Gatty, the peasant girl full of courage and spirit sets off on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, hoping to meet Arthur who has gone on Crusade. All of medieval Europe is brought to life.' UNDERCOVER (Heywood Hill Bookshop) 'one of our most acclaimed and successful children's prose writers.' -- Peter Stanford THE INDEPENDENT 'Chapters are wonderfully crafted, short and accessible... Passages on Gatty's experiences in London, Venice and Jerusalem are startling in their beauty and musicality.' -- Colin Mills BOOKS FOR KEEPS 'Crossley-Holland's taut, gutsy, ever-inventive prose lifts the Middle Ages and all its sights, smells, privations and wonders off the page. This is a classic odyssey and a crossover novel that both adults and young people will cherish.' -- Elaine Williams TES 'As ever, Kevin Crossley-Holland writes with his special blend of the precise, the poetic adn the demotic, and imbues his tale with the colour, freshness and vigour of a Renaissance painting. And, again, his instinct for that characteristic medieval amalgam of the spiritual and th earthbound is unerring. But this is Gatty's book. Graceful, homely, profound, beautiful, strong, dignified, and Everywoman: a great liteary creation. Her presence lingers, like a perfume.' -- Chris Stephenson CAROUSEL 'a masterful celebration of the medieval world...Crossley-Holland stitches a tapestry of 13th-century art that will long adorn the wall of imaginative minds.' -- Colin Gardiner OXFORD TIMES 'It can't be long before the name Kevin Crossley-Holland is uttered in the same sentence as 'national institution'. His writing is evocative, lively and sharp; he brings history to life on the page so well that readers barely realise they are learning as well as enjoying fiction... There are moments when your eyes will brim with tears and when you feel inspired by such and audacious exercise to praise God. Throughout, you will be swept away.' -- Jayne Howarth BIRMINGHAM POST 'Gatty, the feisty farm girl, stars in her own adventure, Gatty's Tale. She is an engaging heroine, funny and self-reliant, as always. Rich in historical detail, this impressive book takes her to Jerusalem on a 13th-century pilgrimage. A very satisfying read.' -- Georgia Metcalfe DAILY MAIL 'Crossley-Holland is something of a wizard when it comes to evoking the texture of everyday medieval life... Gatty's Tale is a lovely addition to [his] magical re-imagining of the medieval world.' -- Kathryn Hughes THE GUARDIAN 'skilfully wrought and compelling... [Gatty's] transformation from ignorant peasant to accomplished and educated young lady is encapsulated exquisitely in the image of her gorgeous silk gown emerging from he cocoon fo the rough, grey material of her pilgrim's cloak as she is reunited with Arthur in the aisle of the church.' -- Carole Redford INIS (Ireland) 'The heroine of this novel belongs to a medieval world as luminously coloured, as closely linked to nature and as drenched in spirituality as the illuminations in a book of hours... The medieval perception that the pattern of Christ's life is deeply imprinted on time and human life comes across beautifully.' -- Julian Margaret Gibbs THE TABLET 'The weight of research undertaken by Crossley-Holland is palpable... his descriptions of life on the Marches, across Europe and the Middle East resonate with grubby realism... However... the author infuses the saga with enchantment.' -- Natalie Bushe THE HERALD (Glasgow) 'written with exquisite simplicity and subtlety, and with an utterly satisfying finale. There is a Canterbury Tales feel about the range of characters as Gatty travels to the East. They illuminate an age which shared all our modern emotions but interpreted their surroundings differently. Read this one aloud: you'll enjoy the song in its writing every bit as much as your children do.' -- Christina Hardyment THE INDEPENDENT 'Readers will be enchanted by this rich and fascinating book. It will gladden their hearts, test their compassion, fuel their thinking and challenge their assumptions about faith, life and humanity.' WRITE AWAY 'Many features of the text intrigue me, including the faint but discernible echoes of earlier travellers' tales. The feeling of the long time the journey takes is in counterpoint with the speed of events. The onward thrust of the narrative is sustained by the continuous, interactive talk of the pilgrims.' -- Margaret Meek SCHOOL LIBRARIAN 'One of the joys of this book is its clear, poetic depection of this extraordinary journey.' -- Ann Turnbull HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW 'a really good adventure story... The setting is medieval Europe and the author gives a vivid picture of what life was like at that time.' -- Hannah Jones TEEN TITLES 'This exciting story is peppered with memorable characters and the parallels between the religious climate at the time of the crusades and today are particularly relevant.' BOOKTRUST BEST BOOK GUIDE 2007
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About Kevin Crossley-Holland

In his distinguished career as an author, KCH has won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Carnegie Medal. His notable books for adults and children include poetry, classic retellings and anthologies. He has written and presented many BBC radio programmes and is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
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Rating details

645 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 27% (175)
4 38% (246)
3 24% (154)
2 8% (52)
1 3% (18)
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