Who: Aliena of Kingsbridge
From: Pillars of the Earth
By: Ken Follett
Pros: Strong, compassionate, loving, determined, resourceful, intelligent, resilient, self-sacrificing.
Aliena has a tumbled mass of unruly dark curls, a straight, imperious nose, soft smooth cheeks, large dark eyes and full sensous lips. She is slim but full breasted, and careless in what she wears, often going barefoot. [Ken Follett.com]
Cons: Emotionally reserved, at times aloof, stubborn and short-tempered.
Prior to the novel Aliena leads a storybook life. Then things start to go wrong. In short order she finds her father, the Earl of Shiring, thrown out of his castle and held in jail for treason. She is raped and her younger brother, Richard, has his ear cut off before they too are thrown out of their castle. But having promised her father that Richard will one day take back the title of Earl of Shiring she does everything in her power to toughen the boy and build a fortune. That means denying herself her one true love so Richard can be outfitted as a Knight.
Best Shining Moment: Traveling over most of Western Europe in search of Jack. Because true love is worth it.
Least Shining Moment: Marrying Alfred (when she really loves Jack) because Alfred can outfit her brother as a Knight.
Why I chose Aliena: Aliena has the ability to look beyond appearances and see a person’s inner worth (or flaws). She’s a hard worker who inspires the best in others. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, as she showed when helping to build the wall to protect the town. She knows her inner strength and she’s not afraid to use it.
- “The Pillars of the Earth” – Ken Follett (1989) (caffeinatedreadingsessions.wordpress.com)