Brat has no name, no home, and no shelter against the 14th-century English winter except the foul warmth of a dung heap. So when Jane the Midwife wakes her with a kick and takes the half-starved creature to her cottage, a curious relationship begins. Jane teaches Brat to gather herbs and make the poultices used to ease the pain of childbirth for the village women.
The skinny young girl quickly learns to obey the sharp-tongued midwife, and secretly watches Jane practice her art whenever she can. But Jane is also teaching Brat unspoken lessons that will take longer - maybe a lifetime - to master.
©1995 Karen Cushman; (P)1996 Recorded Books
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"A good morality tale for young people"
A short but good book with a good moral. Written for young people, but if you want your kid to read it, be sure he/she is fairly mature and knows a bit about "the birds and the bees." A fairly young child would not understand what is going on. That is not to say there is anything in it that would not be appropriate. I think it is very appropriate. Still, I would want to read this book with my child because it has the potential to open up a lot of questions for discussion.
An imagined glimpse at ordinary life in medieval Europe—a bold endeavor in itself. The story of a girl's struggle for survival and socialization in a society which is largely indifferent, and sometimes harsh, although there are pockets of human warmth and hope.
"not just for kids"
liked most -- the refreshing perspective of one that has had a rough life, but doesn't wallow in "poor me";it was worth price.
liked least -- almost fell over dead when the recording started, with the "audible kids"
screeching out - startling everyone in the room! didn't realize it was intended for kids.
frankly, i don't remember the ending - now that's sad.
it was ok, take it or leave it.
yep, and the price was good too.
"A simple story. Worth reading."
I enjoyed the story of the girl and her experiences.
When she succeeded in delivering a baby by herself.
I was able to listen to this book in different pieces. I definitely did not want to just leave it unfinished.
The narrator really conveys the moodiness of the village scenes and depth of Alice's character. There is both sadness and triumph in this story.
"not for young teens"
If you are getting this book for a young teen to read I would not recommend it. As it has adult content that is not appropriate in my opinion.
The chapter the Millers Wife. This is where we stopped listening to the story as it wasn't suitable for my young teen
"Wise in the end"
If you are looking for adventure, romance or great historical detail, you will probably not find them here. There is not even that much dialogue. BUT--those are not the only attributes of a good story, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this in the end. What this story does very well is give an intimate view of the gritty side of life from the perspective of an underprivileged girl (well, homeless vagrant, really) who gets plucked from her warm dungpile and is thrust into the role of apprentice to a very stern, cold and critical midwife. I found myself pitying the situation of the apprentice, even while the character herself is grateful for this unexpected boon in her life--regular meals and a clean place to sleep. The crushing comments of the midwife seem purposely cruel, and the apprentice's self-esteem is just about non-existent. The events of the book seem almost depressing--until the very end, and then the wisdom of the midwife and her methods slaps you in the face, leaving you with a greater appreciation for the characters, and for the historical perspective through which this story is told.
If you liked stories like "The Girl With the Pearl Earring," you will probably enjoy this book.
"A book about a young girl in the middle ages"
The book accurately portrayed the poverty and suffering. It was not a very happy book overall.
Sort of a surprise ending but I liked how it concluded.
"A good listen"
I might listen again, but will need to wait sometime before I make up my mind.
I liked to girl's examination of herself & her place in society.
"short but enjoyable"
Short but it was just what I wanted on this hot day. Period piece.
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