finished reading

I admit I do not know Chaucer's "Wife of Bath" from The Canterbury Tales but this reimagining was recommended to me and it intrigued me so I thought I would read it.  I'm glad I did.  This tale from the Middle Ages is of Eleanor's five very different marriages as each marriage takes her up a rung on the social ladder.  In the Middle Ages, being a wife is the pinnacle of expectation for females.  This turns that prospect on its ear.  

It's a complex story from a time I can't even fathom--the narration is light in tone although it tells a tale that ranges from suffering, heartbreak, and brutality to success, triumph, and love.  Eleanor's chief allies throughout the tale are Geoffrey Chaucer and her most loyal confidante Alyson both of whom encourage her to take advantage of her innate business sense.

My complaints are that it is very long and the trade Eleanor settled on at the end was contrived.

From the publisher:
A provocative, immersive medieval novel starring one of literature's most unforgettable characters in her own words--Chaucer's bold and libidinous Wife of Bath.

In the middle ages, a famous poet told a story that mocked a strong woman. It became a literary classic. But what if the woman in question had a chance to tell her own version?

England, 1364: When married off at aged twelve to an elderly farmer, brazen redheaded Eleanor quickly realizes it won't matter what she says or does, God is not on her side--or any poor woman's for that matter. But then again, Eleanor was born under the joint signs of Venus and Mars, making her both a lover and a fighter.

Aided by a head for business (and a surprisingly kind husband), Eleanor manages to turn her first marriage into success, and she rises through society from a cast-off farm girl to a woman of fortune who becomes a trusted friend of the social-climbing poet Geoffrey Chaucer. But more marriages follow--some happy, some not--several pilgrimages, many lovers, murder, mayhem, and many turns of fortune's wheel as Eleanor pursues the one thing that all women want: control of their own lives.

1 comment:

Me, Myself, and I said...

This sounds right up my alley. I think I'll give it a try!