Lez get literary: ‘The Mandrake Broom’ by Jess Wells

The Mandrake BroomBY BETT NORRIS

This review is the second in a series of three reviews by Bett Norris: something old, something new, something timeless. Read the first instalment, the review for “Giraffe People,” here.

“The Mandrake Broom” by Jess Wells is published by Firebrand Books.

Excellent novel, great historical fiction. I highly recommend this book. It works as a quest, a thriller, an action adventure set in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, during the time of the Plague, the Inquisition, witch burnings, the Middle Ages. Wells dramatizes one woman’s courageous fight to save medical knowledge during the witch-burning era. Set in Europe in 1465-1540, The Mandrake Broom follows Luccia Alimenti as she fights the forces that attempt to keep medical knowledge out of the hands of women.

This is beautiful writing with great tension and pace. It really kept me plugged in, pulling for the protagonists, aching for them really. Great characters. This is the best historical fiction I’ve read in a very long time. Wells made the urgency of the time come alive.

Bett Norris is the author of “Miss McGhee,” and “What’s Best for Jane.”

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