My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A gripping tale, that kept me awake into the wee hours, as I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished it.
This is a fast-paced story, with plenty of drama and intrigue, that still manages to convey a huge amount of historical detail. I loved that this detail was woven skilfully throughout the story, without jarring one out of the narrative. The descriptions of the everyday tasks and duties, combined with historically significant events, give young readers a more rounded view of life in this period.
The writing is descriptive and tight, easy to read for both adults and teens. My 12 year old daughter is reading Five Wounds now, and is enjoying it immensely. We both found that our lack of knowledge of the specific historical period, and the Pilgrimage of Grace was a slight issue. As we read on, many of our questions were answered, but I did have a quick read of some background information to fill in some gaps.
Nan is a believable (if at times slightly irritating!) character. Her religious beliefs, and the way in which they shaped her life, explain very well her motivations. Young readers may not necessarily identify with her religious beliefs, but they can empathise with her, particularly when she makes hasty or unwise decisions.
There were a few loose ends, and some fascinating characters who weren’t fully explored, so I am hopeful that there will be a continuation of their stories in a later book.