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Spiders Voice (1999)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689821492, Hardcover)This intriguing novel about the classic 12th-century love affair between Eloise and Abelard adds to the growing body of young adult novels with medieval themes. The story is told through the eyes of Aran, the mute servant of the charismatic philosopher-intellectual Abelard. As a teenager, tongue-tied Aran had been sold to a dealer in human oddities, who welded the boy into a metal vest so that he would grow into a "spider" with disproportionately long arms and legs. Abelard needs a servant who won't gossip about his passionate trysts with his beautiful and brilliant student Eloise. He rescues Aran by bringing him into his service, and thus the boy becomes a go-between and an observer of the famous romance. Idyllic love scenes contrast with episodes of bloody violence as the doomed affair plays itself out with Abelard's eventual castration by Eloise's guardian. When Aran gains his voice in a pseudo-miracle and grows in self-assurance, his hero worship of the selfish and insensitive Abelard begins to fade, but Eloise remains to him the symbol of an overwhelming passion he can never experience. A closing author's note zooms teens into the 21st century, noting the address of a Web site where they can read the actual love letters of this famous couple. (Ages 12 to 15) --Patty Campbell
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:18 -0400)
Because he is a young mute person who can hear, Aran becomes involved in the adventures of Eloise and Abelard, France's most famous lovers, who lived during the twelfth century.
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