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The Wise Woman by Philippa Gregory
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The Wise Woman (1992)

by Philippa Gregory

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9442814,360 (3.26)22
After her abbey is burned by allies of King Henry VIII, Alys is summoned to the castle and tempted by luxury and desire for Lord Hugo, but his shrewd wife is watching, and Alys must use her powers to fend off accusations of witchcraft and lust. Reprint. 75,000 first printing.
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I have read many of Philippa Gregory's books and thought they were all excellent, but not this one. I was really disappointed in it. I didn't like any of the characters. The book is called The Wise Woman, but there wasn't a single wise woman in it.

The characters all seemed to be the same from start to finish, the main character Ann/Alys did something at the very end that one may say redeemed her, but to me it just seemed like the author needed to wrap things up and it was an easy way out.

Morach, the wise woman of Bowes Moor seemed to change as the plot dictated from wise woman, to witch. First not using black magic and then giving in. But it made no sense. Her treatment of Ann/Alys made no sense either. She treated her badly. When she discovered Ann/Alys was able to tap into supernatural powers, she did little to guide her. Just as she did little to guide her from the time she came under her care.

I'm not sure what the point of the book was supposed to be...that black magic is bad with unintended consequences, that denouncing your religion (Catholicism) brings deadly consequences, that it's a man's world and women will never be able to get what they want... I just don't know.

I read it all the way through waiting for some revelation, but found none. I should have given up on it when I was a quarter of the way through when I first decided it was going no where. ( )
  jezebellydancer | Oct 22, 2019 |
This was a chunkster of a book(aka a doorstop) and it kept me entertained through most of the book. It was a bit romance, a bit historical fiction and a bit mystical. ( )
  PamV | Mar 27, 2018 |
Enjoyed the first half, in the second half Alys became too evil for my taste ... ( )
  EvaW | Apr 6, 2017 |
well written, but very far-fetched ( )
  NaggedMan | Sep 30, 2016 |
A rather disturbing book that I can't recommend reading. ( )
  GeneHunter | Mar 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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In my dream I smelled the dark sulphurous stink of a passing witch and I pulled up the coarse blanket over my head and whispered, "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us" to shield me from my nightmare of terror.
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In this book, originally published after her bestselling debut with the Wideacre trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory takes readers to Henry VIII's England, on a journey to the outer reaches of passion, where magic and female power meet.

Alys joins a nunnery to escape the poverty of her life on the moor with her foster mother, Morach, the local wise woman with whom she lives as an outcast, but she soon finds herself thrown back into the world when Henry VIII's wreckers destroy her sanctuary. Summoned to the castle as the old lord's scribe, she falls obsessively in love with his son Hugo, who is married to Catherine. Driven to desperation by her desire, she summons the most dangerous powers Morach has taught her, but soon the passionate triangle of Alys, Hugo, and Catherine begins to explode, launching them into uncharted sexual waters. The magic Alys has conjured now has a life of its own -- a life that is horrifyingly and disastrously out of control.

Is she a witch? Since heresy means the stake, and witchcraft the rope, Alys is in mortal danger, treading a perilous path between her faith and her own female power.
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