I loved Gatty from the Arthur trilogy and so having a whole adventure all to herself made my reading day.
Gatty was introduced as a young girl who worked hard on the land of the Caldicot's. She and Arthur were peculiar friends - the lord's son and a peasant wasn't really what you would call a conventional friendship.
Arthur went off to the Crusades, leaving Gatty alone. When her father dies she is left alone. Lord Caldicot feels sorry for her and perhaps affected by his son's friendship with her, arranges for her to accompany a lady on a pilgrimage to Bethlehem. Gatty's Tale tells of her long journey to the Birth place of Jesus Christ. It isn't just a physical journey of course, but a spiritual and mental journey.
Kevin Crossley-Holland is first and foremost a fantastic author and I think must have done a good amount of research because he takes you back in time so seamlessly you barely notice it. You can read as many history text books as you want, but the best way to really get a "feel" of history I think, is to read a fictional account.
Strong characters make up this book. Gatty in particular of course. I loved how she grew up in this book - from girl to young woman. I loved the love story between her and Arthur. This book completed the trilogy in the nicest way possible.
I love authors who can create not just a world, but characters whom you can touch and know. Really "know" as if they are your friends. Sometimes it is hard to believe they aren't real.