Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Vision of Light

Margaret of Ashbury is a woman of the 14th century. She wants to write the story of her life, but she is unable to read or write. She approaches three clerics to write her story but they scornfully told her no. Brother Gregory, a Carthusian friar, agrees to write her life story as he needs money to buy food. As she begins to tell her story we find that Margaret has lived a extraordinary and at times difficult life. She was married off to a evil man at at the age of 14. She was left for dead by her husband during the Black Plague. Thanks to a wise woman she survived the plaque. Margaret became an apprenticed to the wise woman where she learned about herbs and plants for healing as well as how to be a midwife. Then one day she experienced a Vision of Light which gives her the healing touch. When someone reports her to the bishop courts, she is tried for heresy. Will she be able to survive this challenge like she has all the other challenges in her life?

A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley was a fun book to read. This book gave you a peek into the middle ages. It shows one, how men thought of women and how women had to behave. I loved Brother Gregory and Margaret interactions. Brother Gregory is shocked by Margaret. She does not fit into his view of women. But as he listens to her story, he starts to respect her.

Once you learn Margaret's story, you understand why she wants to tell it and why she wants to read and write.

If I knew what a great book this was; I would not have waited so long to read it. This is the first book in the Margaret of Ashbury trilogy. I can't wait to see what further adventures Margaret will encounter.
Happy Reading


Lezlie said...

These books have always looked so intersting to me. I may have to pick them up now! :-)


Amanda said...

What an interesting story. I'll have to read it :) Thanks for the review!

Margaret Donsbach said...

Thanks for this beautiful and insightful review, Reading Mama. We are so lucky to be able to read and write! Judith Merkle Riley is a wonderful writer, and those who enjoyed A Vision of Light can find a listing of the other novels in the Margaret of Ashbury series (and about 500 other novels set in the Middle Ages) on the Medieval page of my Historical Novels website:

Trisha said...

I am going to put a spanner in the works with this one.
After reading through the posts, I recalled the authors name, so have referred back to my book reading log, and sure enough I read this book in June 2007.
The comments aren't very flattering
"The story, set in 14th century England - sounded good, but only got through a quarter of the book.
Too padded".
Maybe I should revisit this book.