The Wise Woman’s Tale



During the Great War, life in London was thought not as safe as the countryside. But as Kate Barnes discovers during her stay in Somerset, she loves the country and her grandmother best. She loved the fresh air and trees and made friends with a rather rich military neighbor. When her father decides to move the family back to London for better job opportunities, Kate’s life is tinged by tragedy as she becomes responsible for her younger sister, Betty, a very difficult child. Adding to her trials, Kate learns she has second sight, scorned by her mother and inherited from her grandmother, whom her father acknowledges as a bad influence on his daughter; he refuses to let Kate go back for a visit. When illness looms large for her grandmother, Kate returns to Somerset to absorb the wisdom while there is still time. She learns of deep caves and herbal medicine but also the persecution by people who fear what they don’t know. Kate matures into the wise woman legacy of her family, discovering that Betty also has the gift. But are her motives as honorable as Kate’s?

This story is a historical escape into a world that many people believe in and others fear. Kate’s sincerity and her many all-too-human experiences draw the reader in for a willing suspension of any disbelief. An enjoyable saga with mystical flavor, and with herbal remedies as chapter headings.


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12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award







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