Johanna is a servant girl to Dame Margery Kempe, a renowned
medieval holy woman. Dame Margery feels the suffering the Virgin Mary felt for
her son but cares little for the misery she sees every day. When she announces
that Johanna will accompany her on a pilgrimage to Rome, the suffering truly
begins. After walking all day, Johanna must fetch water, wash clothes, and cook
for the entire party of pilgrims. Then arguing breaks out between Dame Margery
and the other travelers, and Johanna is caught in the middle. As the fighting
escalates, Dame Margery turns her back on the whole group, including Johanna.
Abandoned in a foreign land where she doesn’t even speak the language, the
young maidservant must find her own way to Rome.
Inspired by the fifteenth-century text The Book of Margery Kempe, the first autobiography in English,
debut novelist Rebecca Barnhouse chronicles Johanna’s painful journey through
fear, anger, and physical hardship to ultimate redemption. Download and start listening now!