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The Year in Books: Our 2012 Must Reads

On the 600th anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc, Nancy Goldstone tells the untold story of the relationship between the queen of Sicily and the courageous young warrior in The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc.

Joan of Arcadia (2003) This heartfelt drama follows teenager Joan Girardi (Amber Tamblyn), who is shocked to learn that, as a modern-day version of Joan of Arc, she can communicate directly with God, who appears in different guises and asks her to help out people in trouble. Joan's police chief father, Will (Joe Mantegna), and art teacher mother, Helen (Mary Steenburgen), do their best to support their conflicted daughter, although she can't reveal her unusual situation.

Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta has always had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she meets his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and sees her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. A sweeping, powerful novel rich in passion and legend and drawing on years of research, The Lady of the Rivers tells the story of the real-life mother to the White Queen.