- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (April 10, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375839089
- ISBN-13: 978-0375839085
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,807,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Salome Hardcover – April 10, 2007
This gets off to a rocky start, not surprisingly, because to set the stage, Gormley must explain the convoluted relationships of Salome and her mother, Herodias, to the male descendents of Herod the Great. But the author soon finds her footing. She fleshes out the story of Salome (who danced with seven veils and then demanded the head of John the Baptist), showing the teenager as the daughter of a willful woman, a girl caught up in the palace intrigue and religious zeal, as^B she tries to define herself and her beliefs. Interspersed chapters tell some of the story from the viewpoint of John the Baptist, who calls for repentance, even from the ruling class. This patterns itself on recent^B adult books about biblical women, such as^B Marek Halter's Canaan trilogy, which begins with a novel about Sarah (even the cover of Salome is reminiscent). Like those books, this succeeds in bringing lightly sketched biblical characters and original supporting characters vividly to life. There are some shocking scenes, but Gormley shapes them responsibly, and they bolster a long-ago story that resonates today. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“Absorbing. . . . Many of the questions that the book raises are still being grappled with today, and as a result, the novel will appeal to thoughtful readers as well as to those who simply want to lose themselves in a good story.”—School Library Journal
“A fresh look at an old story.”—Kirkus Reviews
From the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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This is an enjoyable book, aimed at the teenage market. It is true that the author needs some time to set the stage, but after that the clumsy and naive girl Salome starts to become real. My only little gripe with this book is that Salome is cast in the first person; always a tricky thing to do in any book.
Having read much written material concerning Salome, I found that this book was better researched than any of the other fictional works I have come across concerning her. In many historical novels we see that facts of history are being sacrificed for the interest of the story; this book does not do that! I greatly admire the author for her attitude in this respect. Even so, the book still has some of the stereotype misconceptions that surround the biblical narrative, such as the seven veils (made popular by Oscar Wilde and based on Babylonian cultic practise).
In the end this book is a good and honest attempt to retell the story of the death of John the Baptist. I recommend it to all readers, even if adult readers may find the book a little naive.