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Sold for endless rue by Madeleine E. Robins
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Sold for endless rue (2013)

by Madeleine E. Robins

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A different sort of book that wove through the lives of several generations. The author showed how one's desire can consume and be forced on another generation. Madeleine portrayed the good and the bad of the character, even to its logical conclusion.

The herbal research provided the framework for the plot and setting.

Different sort of book, refreshing change.

(Would skip three parts of intimate description.) ( )
  Sonya.Contreras | May 21, 2017 |
Robins takes the Rapunzel story, removes the fantasy elements, and places it in thirteenth-century Italy. Sold for Endless Rue does not immediately remind one of Rapunzel, as the reader follows Laura, a young girl saved from a violent man by hiding in the bed of a sick woman. The patient's midwife-healer, Crescia, takes Laura as an apprentice, and the girl learns about medicinal herbs, healing wounds and birthing babies. Laura is both smart and a hard worker. Crescia realizes that Laura could help them both by learning to read and studying under the physicians at the Scuola in Salerna. Crescia arranges for this to happen, and Laura is sent to the Scuola where she studies Latin, mathematics, astrology, anatomy and many other subjects. Not all the teachers and students approve of a female in their midst, but Laura thrives and shows herself capable of becoming a medico.
This part of the story moves slowly, but the pace picks up when Laura falls in love with another student and envisions a life different than that her guardian had planned. When Laura's relationship ends, the Rapunzel tale is revealed, with Laura as the “witch.” The story begins to resemble the fairy tale, complete with stolen greens, a baby given away, a long golden braid, and a “prince” who comes to the rescue. This all happens in the real world, without magic potions or talking animals, and with characters much more rich than any found in a Grimm story.
Medieval life and medicine are well-researched and richly described, and Robins is very clever in her adaptation of the fairy tale. The push through the slow beginning is well worth it. ( )
  elizabethcfelt | May 15, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Madeleine E. Robinsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Delon, MelanieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Emil and Penny, with love and history
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The world was all sound: the crack of brush underfoot, her own harsh panting, the whip of the branches as she pushed her way through them, and behind her somewhere a man's gutteral cursing.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076530399X, Hardcover)

After a blighted childhood, young Laura finds peace and purpose in the home of a midwife and healer. Later, she enrolls in Salerno's famed medical school—the first in the world to admit women. Laura and her adoptive mother hope that Laura can build a bridge between women's herbal healing and the new science of medicine developing in thirteenth century Italy.

The hardest lessons are those of love; Laura falls hard for a fellow student who abandons her for a wealthy wife. Worse, her mother rejects her as "impure." Shattered, Laura devotes herself to her work, becoming a respected medico. But her heart is still bitter, and when she sees a chance for revenge, she grabs it—and takes for her own Bieta, the newborn daughter of a woman whose husband regularly raided the physician's garden for bitter herbs to satisfy his pregnant wife's cravings.

Determined to protect her adored daughter from the ravages of the world, Laura isolates the young woman in a tower. Bieta, as determined as her mother, escapes, and finds adventure—and love—on the streets of Salerno.

Bieta's betrayal of her mother's love comes at a terrible price as lives are ruined and families are torn apart.  Laura's medical knowledge cannot heal her broken heart; only a great act of love can bring everyone forgiveness and peace.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:46 -0400)

"After a blighted childhood, young Laura finds peace and purpose in the home of a midwife and healer. Later, she enrolls in Salerno's famed medical school--the first in the world to admit women. Laura and her adoptive mother hope that Laura can build a bridge between women's herbal healing and the new science of medicine developing in thirteenth century Italy. The hardest lessons are those of love; Laura falls hard for a fellow student who abandons her for a wealthy wife. Worse, her mother rejects her as "impure." Shattered, Laura devotes herself to her work, becoming a respected medico. But her heart is still bitter, and when she sees a chance for revenge, she grabs it--and takes for her own Bieta, the newborn daughter of a woman whose husband regularly raided the physician's garden for bitter herbs to satisfy his pregnant wife's cravings. Determined to protect her adored daughter from the ravages of the world, Laura isolates the young woman in a tower. Bieta, as determined as her mother, escapes, and finds adventure--and love--on the streets of Salerno. Bieta's betrayal of her mother's love comes at a terrible price as lives are ruined and families are torn apart. Laura's medical knowledge cannot heal her broken heart; only a great act of love can bring everyone forgiveness and peace"--… (more)

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