Philippa Gregory is one of my favorite authors, but every book seems to have some paranormal or "magic" element. This book was o.k., but her emphasis on sexual perversion cheapened her as a writer in my eyes. This one is Medieval witchcraft combined with kinkey sex. In all her books she shows how powerless women in times gone by were to the whims of their husbands, their rulers, and the powerful men who made the rules of the era. If sex sells, then she must have made a bundle on this book. Genny
This book was very odd. I usually like Philippa Gregory, but I wish I had skipped this book.
Bizarre, bizarre read! As a huge Gregory fan, I was actually uncomfortable at times reading this one. I can't recommend it. I've had a hard time finding anyone who actually really enjoyed this one.
This book is set in England around the time of Henry VIII's ousting of Queen Catherine for Anne Boleyn. In that respect, it almost goes along with Gregory's "Other Boleyn Girl" series of books. Alys has been raised by a witch, to whom she was abandoned at birth. Despite her inherent power, she wishes for something more than the dirty hovel in which she was raised, and joins a convent at a young age. When the convent is burned by the lords, she escapes and winds up back at her hovel, where she is kidnapped by the lord's cruel son in order to serve as a healer to the ailing old lord. Despite her disdain for the young lord, she finds him attractive, and indeed finds castle life a good deal more attractive than her childhood home. In the course of securing her place in the castle, she reverts to her old ways (witchcraft) and must tread a fine line between relative comfort, her social status, and the stake. This was a good read, and one that lovers of historical fiction can't miss with. The "witchcraft" portrayed smacks a little of Haitian voodoo practices, but what do I know about medieval witchcraft? (Ans: Nothing.) This was a fun one, even though this book is no exception to Gregory's uncanny knack for writing completely unsympathetic characters.
I absolutely love Philippa Gregory's historical novels. After the "Wideacres Trilogy" I said I would never read anything of hers that was not historical in nature. The "Wise Woman" has the ick factor the Wideacres had. She seems to be fascinated with twisted sexual themes and, although not as bad as Wideacres certainly Wise Woman was more than I wanted to read. Call me a prude. I would not recommend this book.