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Inspired by the Italian frescoes that depict the life of St. Francis of Assisi, acclaimed novelist Valerie Martin examines the life of Francesco di Pietro Bernardone in a series of vividly realized “panels” that rediscover the saint in moments both crucial and ordinary. Drawing from myriad sources, including Francesco’s own words, she has arranged these scenes thematically, in the manner of the early hagiographies. She begins in the dark, final days, with a suffering Francesco on the verge of death, and moves backward through time, concluding in the bright clear light of his conversion as a young man. Salvation is at once an illuminating glimpse into the medieval world and an original and intimate portrait of the man whose legend has resonated through the centuries.
“A bold retelling of a familiar, beloved story.”– Los Angeles Times
“Stimulating…. Brilliantly done.”–The New York Times
“Martin’s depiction of Francis through the eyes of his followers is her greatest achievement…. [A] subtle and contradictory portrait of a holy personality.”–San Francisco Chronicle