The author uses his own knowledge and serious investigation to work the bones of his story, but what makes this very good historical fiction. He presents the flavor of the 1600"s in Bavaria without holding back the sounds, flavors and odors of a bygone age, that should makes us appreciate .ore gentle justice, hand washing and food inspection more than most do. His main character has much to overcome, her husband ends up so tired he just finally falls asleep. It is interesting to read the afterwords and realize that the celebration does continue to be celebrated into our days. The word choices, one in particular, are concise.. After describing the smells of the main community near the end of the story in a few unappetizing words the doctor sums it up with "the smell of people, which I love".