Google+ Reading Teen: THE PASSION OF DOLSSA by Julie Berry // Slow but Gooooood

Thursday, April 14, 2016

THE PASSION OF DOLSSA by Julie Berry // Slow but Gooooood

Review by Andye

by Julie Berry
Age Range: 12 - 17 years
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (April 12, 2016)
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 11 hours and 42 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Listening Library
Goodreads | Amazon | Audible

I must write this account, and when I have finished, I will burn it.

Buried deep within the archives of a convent in medieval France is an untold story of love, loss, and wonder and the two girls at the heart of it all.

Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with a secret lover and an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she’s on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire, and wants Dolssa executed, too.

Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town of Bajas.

When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers. But all of Botille’s tricks, tales, and cleverness can’t protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon Bajas, Dolssa’s passion and Botille’s good intentions could destroy the entire village.

From the author of the award-winning All the Truth That's in Me comes a spellbinding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page and make you wonder if miracles really are possible. 
I really didn't know what to expect going into this book. I hadn't read anything about it except that most people were recommending it for older readers (at least older YA). After finishing it, I would agree. Not because of the content (that was mild), but because of the pace and the story itself. I'm not sure it would hold the attention of most younger readers. But if you enjoy historical fiction, and a slower paced novel, I think you will really like THE PASSION OF DOLSSA.

The writing was incredible, and the way the story was told, in different ways and by different people, was really unique and fascinating. It made me believe that there were truly documents found and pieced together to tell the story of this strange girl who was a vessel for God.

There was a very small romance that made its way into the story. But most of this book was about the friendships formed between Dolssa, Botille & her sisters. I loved reading about this bond that was formed. I loved the way that they all looked out for each other, and put their lives on the line for each other. You don't see a lot of books that focus on friendship the way this book did, and it was very refreshing. 

It was often difficult to read this, and think about the fact that these kinds of executions/burnings of "heretics" actually happened. It's sad to think about the things that we, as humans, will do to each other, to prove we are right, or because we are afraid we are wrong.

This story was touching, and beautifully told. If you are a fan of historical fiction, THE PASSION OF DOLSSA may be just the book you're looking for.


I partially read and partially listened to TPoD. The audiobook was really well done. I loved that they used different voices, not only for Dolssa and Botille, but also for the Inquisitions and the male POVs. Dolssa's narration, done by Fiona Hardingham, was sweet and soft, while Botille, Jayne Entwistle, was a little tougher and had a heavier accent. Allan Corduner did the male POVs and did an awesome job making me feel the tension of the chase. I think listening to the audio also helped me with the slower pace of the book. I definitely recommend it!

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