Alina: A Song for the Telling

Description

ALINA: A SONG FOR THE TELLING is the coming-of-age story of a young woman from Provence in the 12th century who travels to Jerusalem, where she is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder, and finds her voice.

“You should be grateful, my girl. You have no dowry, and I am doing everything I can to get you settled.  You are hardly any man's dream.” Alina's brother Milos pulled his face into a perfect copy of Aunt Marci's sour expression, primly pursing his mouth. He got her querulous tone just right.  Maybe Alina's aunt was right. She could not possibly hope to become a musician, a trobairitz—impoverished as she was and without the status of a good marriage. But Alina refuses to accept the life her aunt wants to impose on her. At the first opportunity she and her brother embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to pray for their father's soul and to escape from their aunt and uncle's strictures. Their journey east takes them through the Byzantine Empire all the way to Jerusalem, where Alina is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder. Forced by a manipulative, powerful lord at court into acting as an informer, Alina tries to protect her wayward brother, while coming to terms with her attraction to a French knight.

 

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About the Author

Author Name : Malve von Hassell

     Malve von Hassell is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. Working as an independent scholar, she published The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996). She has also edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell's memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schließt sich - Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994). She has self-published a children's picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (Mill City Press, 2012) and her translation and annotation of a German children's classic by Tamara Ramsay, Rennefarre: Dott's Wonderful Travels and Adventures (Two Harbors Press, 2012). She has published The Falconer's Apprentice (namelos, 2015) and Alina: A Song for the Telling (BHC Press, 2020), and has another forthcoming historical fiction novel, The Amber Crane (Odyssey Press, 2020). She is working on a biographical account of a woman coming of age in Germany during World War II.

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Don't I feel like a loser when I learn you're through with me.
It was news to everyone, especially to me.
Don't I feel pathetic, like there's something wrong with me.
She is far more beautiful than I could ever be.
I stand here null and solemn, though it must be written on my face,
that I've found before the world what you couldn't say to my face.
You blow right on by me with your new love, hand in hand.
So smug, haughty, and thoughtless.  You are not much of a man.
Filled with anger, through and through, I feel like I could drown.
I lift my glass and drink fast to chase the feeling down.
I close my eyes.  I still see your face.  Somehow I should have known.
You kill me inside with a passing glance, and now my heart grows cold.
So much time spent in a one sided love was wasted all on you.
Don't I feel like a loser for ever caring about you.

By Anne Rasico (Joyce)

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