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Mornings in Jenin : a novel
Susan Abulhawa
Adult Fiction ABULHAW

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Summary: Note: This book now exists in a new edition as ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE : THE YOUNG LIFE, part of the series of the Eleanor Code. This title is retained for collectors.In Alienor, Mark Beaulieu reveals the rich world of young Eleanor of Aquitaine (Alienor d'Aquitaine 1124-1204), who would twice become a queen - to Louis as Queen of France, and to Henry as Queen of England. This historical fiction weaves the never-before told story of young Alienor. The sense for adventure, intrigue, mystery, and romance fill this first volume of an epic series bound to delight readers everywhere. For Eleanor readers, this is a deep account of her life.In a land that is unusually prosperous, the Aquitaine is surrounded by envious lords. Wealth affords what is nonexistent in medieval Europe - children allowed to play instead of work, females receive education, and toleration is shown for faith, art, and science. At the unique Fontevrault Abbey, started by Alienor's family, nuns live in balance with priests. Girls alongside boys learn the medieval skills of invention, poetic song, falconing, bird messaging, 'dictonic' speech, and rational thought. Encouraged to have curious minds, her young friends become attracted to what authorities will oppose: Alienor's pursuit of a personal code centered on love - not what everyone commonly understands as love, but her idea and practice of it. She astounds convention. How she comes to terms with love's medieval forces becomes her code. This code leads her to become one of the most powerful and enigmatic women of the middle ages.Living in the shadow of her favored brother, Alienor adventures in the backwoods and rivers with new friends, until she makes a terrible discovery - a friend's innocent father is thrown into a dungeon for a secret court of inquisition. It is the beginning of her story, and the Aquitaine - indeed the world - will never be the same. On a larger stage, the outer world is drawn to her wealth. They see her lifestyle of fashion, beauty, art, and personal faith as alien and unholy. Alienor is a story of origins, of a girl coming of age who disregards privilege and brings her values into a brutal world. The origins of modern justice, governance, romance and legal power is told by young knights, troubadours, counselors, priests, slaves, and a girl named Alienor.Through the young eyes of Alienor and her friends, the book develops strong characters, rich humor and deep honesty as they face the irrationality of adult medieval attitudes toward life, knowledge, gender, faith, and love. Beginning with high-spirited mischief in the backroads and rivers of post-Roman Aquitaine France, the young explorers move beyond their adventures. With Alienor's wealth and heart, they realize together they can change the world. And they do - but a medieval world tolerates only so much.In development for twelve years and based on the latest scholarly research, these stories significantly update earlier fictions about Eleanor of Aquitaine. Each character comes across challenges that many a young person faces and resolves them in exciting, unusual ways - leading to the creation of the Eleanor Code.

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