Cokal, Susann. Mirabilis.

Author:Allison, Susan G.
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Berkley, 400p. c2001. 0-42518-532-X. $14.00. A

Based on the few historical details known about the medieval Saint Bonne LaMere, also called Mirabilis, this novel takes the reader back to the Middle Ages, to the 14th-century French village of Villeneuve. Bonne Tardieu, called "God's Bastard" because she is the illegitimate daughter of the martyred Saint Blanche the Astonishing and a village priest, is an outcast, a wet nurse by trade. She achieves sainthood primarily because she rescues the village from starvation during the plague and the English siege in 1372 by suckling with her milk the entire population. Cokal's writing reflects the medieval worldview that the rational and irrational--witchcraft, belief, magic, religion, superstition and miracles--can exist side by side in everyday life. The characters--a stonecutter who wants to be a monk, a dwarf who wants to be a full-sized man...

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