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The Lady Brewer of London: A Novel Paperback – November 10, 2020
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“The daughter of a merchant flouts 15th-century English convention to start a brewery in Brooks’s illuminating epic (after The Chocolate Maker’s Wife). Brooks’s attention to historical detail instills the novel with authenticity by including many historical figures and events, while Anneke’s lively voice keeps a strong grip on the reader as she works to overcome societal prohibitions against women in business and find happiness and contentment. Brooks’s immersive page-turner does not disappoint.” (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Australian-born Karen Brooks is the author of nine novels, an academic, a newspaper columnist and social comentator, and has appeared regularly on national TV and radio. Before turning to academia, she was an army officer, and dabbled in acting. She lives in Hobart, Tasmania.
- Item Weight : 1.24 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 0063008246
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063008243
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 1.3 x 8 inches
- Paperback : 816 pages
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks (November 10, 2020)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #77,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I did enjoy how the book ended, and feel that it was satisfying and seeing Anneke with Leander seemed to make all of the previous struggles somehow less overwhelming.
The literary descriptions of the locations, day to day activities, society in the 15th century, and the inclusion of appropriately associated royalty alive at this time (Henry IV) was excellent. I literally felt as if I was there experiencing it all with her.
It is obvious that the author painstakingly researched not only the culture and events during this time period, but also the extensive knowledge that is placed within this book concerning ale and beer production is impressive. I learned so much reading this book in regards to this area of commerce and production. It is always great to be able to learn something while reading a book that was chosen initially for leisure.
I also enjoyed the Author's Note at the end of the book in which the author further explains what was historically accurate and what was altered in regards to fitting within the author's viewpoint and narrative.
Anneke, is such a strong-willed young lady who suddenly has to provide for her family. At only 19 years old, she finds the courage and determination to go into the family business of brewing. She follows her deceased mothers ale recipes precisely, in hopes of making the perfect mug of ale. The measures she must take to make it happen is one challenge after another. What becomes of Anneke and her family? Will the stick-to-the-bench test for her ale get the okay from the ale-conners? (what a hilarious test)
This is my first novel by Karen Brooks and I look forward to reading more of her books. Even though this book was lengthy and I had to look up old-English terms, it was very well written. (please read **note** below) Those wanting to roam the streets of medieval England, grab this novel for your next adventure into the past.
**Be advised, this novel contains scenes of woman abuse and rape.**
1405 and Anneke Sheldrake finds herself destitute, the house and livelihood she took for granted gone. How to provide for her family and restore their fortunes?
Her mother's people had been Brewers from Flanders. With the help of her recipe book (and the crones who whisper in the brewing commencement) Anneke forges ahead to be come a female brewer. Her successes has her come under siege from rivals, and her father's aristocratic employer, with whom she'd struck a deal in her endeavours to come around. There are deep secrets at play here.
This wonderful medieval story set in the latter days of King Henry IV has everything. Women clawing their way back from tragedy, unlooked for alliances, acceptance and prejudices, and fighting authorities. Compassion and weaknesses are turned into strengths and love.
The Author's Note provides an illuminating explanation of the ale brewing and beer making of the times, and the customs and legalities during Henry Bolingbroke's time.
A fascinating read that incorporates glimpses into medieval life and the struggles of women looking for independence.
A HarperCollins ARC via NetGalley
(Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)