Behold a Pale Horse by Delphine Cull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have always been interested in the Bubonic Plague. There was more than one occurrence, but this deals with the most severe and far reaching one in 1349. Alyse Elsey lost almost everyone she knew; her husband and children, her sisters and her best friend. The only survivor was her best friend's toddler son, Harold. She feels that she has to take Harold to his uncle, a monk in Norwich. The people she meets and the situations she runs into on the journey give a picture of the lives of the survivors. All over England there was chaos and lawlessness. All the usual structure, government, familial attachments, marketing and day to day existence of their lives were permanently changed. In many villages, less than one tenth of the people were left, and the cities were worse.
Alyse is a gifted healer and as she settles in Norwich, her talents are sorely needed. At first, she is reluctant to become close to anyone because her grief is too great and she did not think she could bear to love people again only to have them snatched away from her. However, she does meet John and his healer mother, who take her and Harold in when she was left dying along the road. How these people put their lives together is a fascinating story.
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