Far From Home

In introducing her story, Zabillet says.

This story which I must tell of war and great courage and treachery, is one of loss. Though France may celebrate her achievements for centuries to come, it is the story of how I lost my daughter, Jehanne, whom people here call Jeanne d’Arc, and the peace of my family.

Far From Home is Joan of Arc’s story told from the unique perspective of her mother, Zabillet. Published in the 600th anniversary year of Jehanne’s birth, it brings new insight into what it might be like to be the mother of such an unusual person.

Zabillet knows nothing of her daughter’s extraordinary future as she and her husband, Jacques, struggle to raise their children. A family of peasants, they work the land for their feudal lords and a meagre return for themselves. England and France are fighting a senseless war causing destruction to the land and traditional village life. Jehanne is fiercely independent and refuses to settle down like all the other village girls, and Zabillet is shocked and frightened beyond measure when Jehanne leaves home and travels to the uncrowned King of France hundreds of miles away. She cannot believe that it could be a daughter of hers who is leading the French army in amazing victories against the English. And when things go wrong, she has to stand by helplessly as Jehanne is imprisoned by the English and burnt at the stake after a sham trial that makes her out to be a heretic.

Zabillet falls into misfortune and despair. The war drags on and for a while her family falls apart. Will Zabillet be able to restore Jehanne’s reputation and gain peace of mind?

Comments about Far From Home

Historian Larissa Juliet Taylor –

author of The Virgin Warrier: the Life and Death of Joan of Arc (London: Yale 2009), said of Far From Home:
Joy Bounds takes the few known facts about Jeanne d’Arc’s mother, Zabillet, and retells the well-known story of Jeanne from a new and revealing perspective. The reader feels Zabillet’s pride and delight in her daughter’s accomplishiments – and her deep pain as she learns of her cruel death. In this wonderful novel, Joy Bounds takes the story of the famous French heroine beyond where it normally ends by writing of Zabillet’s crucial role in restoring her daughter’s reputation.

East Anglian writer Tessa West –

Far From Home vividly describes the extraordinary life and killing of Jeanne d’Arc, and the subsequent fight to clear her name. Joy Bounds tells the story through the eyes of Zabillet, Jeanne’s insightful mother. A thoughtful, compassionate novel.

Self-Publishing Magazine –

in the review section of its July 2012 edition
Life in the harsh conditions of war-torn fifteenth century France is vivdly conveyed … Knowing the fate that awaits Jehanne, there is an air of melancholy, and every pleasant moment is bitterwseet, but this in no way detracts from enjoyment of the novel … This is an imaginative glimpse, behind the known facts, at the pain suffered by a mother as she watches her daughter, and, as such, it is timeless…

Historical Novel Society – review extract

The novel appears to be very well researched where the period detail and the dynamics of Joan’s family are concerned. What happened to the family before and after Joan’s death was intriguing …however, I would have liked a little more of Joan’s life, the trials and tribulations she faced, …All in all, this was a good story and a slower-paced, thought-provoking novel… I enjoyed the read.

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