The Raven Girl

The Raven Girl

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Ireland 1488: An unusual young woman washes ashore on a remote Connemarra isle. Astonished by her golden skin and raven-black hair, the primitive islanders believe her to be a dark spirit or possibly even a mermaid or selkie, and set out to capture her. Resourceful and intelligent, the girl--called Marra, or mhara, by the islanders--manages to elude her pursuers, while struggling to understand the strange land she has been thrown into. Meanwhile, Aedan, a young scholar from the city of Galway, journeys to the island with his mentor to investigate, but is unprepared for what will happen when he finally encounters the 'raven girl.' Her very existence will challenge his education and notions about the known world and its peoples; and the powerful love he comes to feel for her will change his life forever. But he must battle the islanders, pirates, his Spanish-born father, a fierce Irish clan and even his own Church in order to save her, against overwhelming odds. Who is she, and where is she from? Marra's tale of her own strange journey from another side of the world emerges along with Aedan's efforts to win her freedom, and her love. The Raven Girl is a novel inspired by actual historical events and explores the clash of cultures that will emerge with the European discovery of the New World and the Americas. Though meant for history buffs of all ages--and lovers of Ireland and its culture--this book is also suitable for advanced younger readers, age 16 and up, who may be interested in a little-known era of world history. Aedan and Marra are teenagers themselves, from vastly different cultures, yet both still struggle with bewildering adult concepts such as love, morality and evil, courage and fortitude, even as they struggle to simply survive. The Raven Girl is part romance, part adventure, part history lesson--and a temporary escape from the world of the 21st century, even if human nature has not changed so much in 600 years.