"A divine drama"
In Anno Domini 1349, the Black Death has plagued the
beleaguered the villagers of Villeneuve, France for two
years. As the morale sinks lower, a miracle occurs at the
Saint-Porchaire Church to provide hope that God has not
abandoned the faithful. At the first communion of a
teenage girl, Blanche Mirabilis levitates above the stunned
townsfolk. Nine months later, she gives birth that many
villagers believe is an Immaculate Conception.
However, years later, the church burns the miracle girl at
the stake for committing heresy. As a teen, that infant
Bonne Mirabilis becomes a wet nurse, but with her heritage
no one will hire her, treating her like a pariah.
Wealthy Radegonde Putemonnoie is pregnant with her deceased
spouse's child. If she gives birth to the heir she
inherits her late husband's fortune. Radegonde hires Bonne
as her wet nurse. As the town is under English siege and
food becomes scarce except in the home of Radegonde, Bonne
allows the less fortunate townsfolk, who previously avoided
her like a leper, to drink from her ever flowing breasts.
Mirabilis is a powerful medieval historical fiction that
vividly brings to life the period as few books do. The
story line flows deeply and graphically so that the
audience tastes, feels, and smells the mid to late
fifteenth century yet not all the descriptions are quite
glowing and upbeat as is typical of novels depicting the
period. However, the theme is not to turn Villeneuve into
the Eerie, Indiana of fourteenth century France, but
instead through a strong cast show how every body needs
someone to care and cherish them. Susann Cokal presents a
wild, wacky, but wonderful debut.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 18, 2002