Charis in the World of Wonders, a novel by Marly Youmans
"When I swung over that windowsill, everything changed for me. We are meant to go in and out of doors in civilized style, but my mother bade me climb into woodsy wildness and a darkness flushed with crimson light and torches …"
A young woman climbs into the branches of a tree to escape flaming arrows and carnage. She will have to fight for her life: scour the wilderness for sanctuary, search out a new family and a place where she can belong. Her unmarked path is costly and challenging.
The world outside Charis's window is a labyrinth of dangers. And even if she survives the wilderness, it is not easy for her to find and nest among her own kind—the pious, or what others call Puritans. She may be compelled by her desire for companionship, she may even stumble into an ardent love for a man, and she may be tested in ways that are unfamiliar to women in our modern-day century.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony of the seventeenth century is permeated by streams of darkness. Fears of the occult and the supernatural have a way of infiltrating the mind. How can a young woman be protected from the perils of the wild when its ominous thickets grow so readily in the soil of human hearts? Much will oppose Charis' desires for renewal and harmony; she must pursue and uncover the hero's path to a fuller, more vibrant existence.
Paperback. 331 pages.
"Charis is a prismatic grace journey that awakens our dulled senses and ignites our adventurous hearts. A seventeenth-century girl pilgrim, with dark shadows of Salem foreboding over her, begins a refractive journey as a faithful exile toward a golden sea."
— Makoto Fujimura, Artist; Author of Culture Care and Silence and Beauty
"Imagine if William Faulkner had decided to rewrite Last of the Mohicans. What you would have is something like Charis in the World of Wonders—a wild adventure tale written with grace and insight. Youmans' prose is fluid, sharply witty, and deeply rich in symbolism—the work of a master."
"Youmans' magnificent storyteller brings the early days of Europeans on the American continent vividly to life, in all their wonder and sorrow."
— Emily Barton, Author of Brookland and The Book of Esther
"Charis in the World of Wonders confirms once more Marly Youmans' place among the magi. There is indeed 'a dark and amazing intricacy in the ways of Providence', as this spellbinding novel attests."
— John Wilson, Contributing Editor, Englewood Review of Books
"From the pen of an award-winning novelist and poet comes the story of Charis, a girl who loses everything and finds love and acceptance in an age of fear and uncertainty. This book is that rare thing, a novel containing characters who are both historically accurate and completely relatable."