The Black Death was a devastating global epidemic of bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. Estimates vary, but the Black Death may have killed one-half of Europe’s population, and about 100 million people worldwide.
If you love the blend of history with characters of long ago, this book will certainly be one you will be wanting to delve into. The black death, a killer disease, spread through and carried by fleas on rats was the background of this tale. We are introduced to the people who through the foresight and effort of Lady Anne, a brilliant well loved character, strives to save her small village of Develish. Residing in this town, are a cast of wonderful and devilish characters who bring to the reader the full extent of knowledge about the perils of life during this tragic time in Europe’ history.
Lady Anne’s husband is a scoundrel and his ugly deeds catch up to him eventually. Lady Anne had a daughter, Eleanor, with her husband, and she is as devious and cunning as her father, hating her mother and the two hundred or so serfs who live in Develish. In particular, her wrath is directed towards Thaddeus Turkell, a serf whom her mother has placed her faith in and his adventures with other young serfs provides another aspect to the story.
It was a frightening time, quarantined from the outside world, unsure of what was happening, the villagers rely on Lady Anne and each other for their support. The village priest is a cur and he is useless to the people, but they eventually learn to rely on their resiliency and will to survive.
I so enjoyed this journey into a time that has always fascinated me. The black death decimated the population of Europe. This book provided a wonderful insight into the time that was beyond awful as people succumbed to this disease in a manner that was both painful and horrible. No one was immune. Twenty five million lost their lives, over one hundred million worldwide. I do recommend this book to all those who love historical fiction at its most telling. A caution though, this is the first book and the next will not be out to October of 2018. I can’t wait!
Minette Walters (born 26 September 1949) is a British mystery writer. After studying at Trevelyan College, University of Durham, she began writing in 1987 with The Ice House, which was published in 1992. She followed this with The Sculptress (1993), which received the 1994 Edgar Award for Best Novel. She has been published in 35 countries and won many awards.
Thank you to Minette Walters, Mira Books, and Netgalley for a copy of this engrossing tale.