Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Brewer's Tale by Karen Brooks

The Brewer's TaleTitle: The Brewer's Tale
Author: Karen Brooks
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 582
Published: October 1st 2014 by Harlequin MIRA
ISBN: 9781743568675
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: It had been Mother's secret and mine, one passed down through the de Winter women for generations. I would ensure it was kept that way, until I was ready to pass it on. When Anneke Sheldrake is forced to find a way to support her family after her father is lost at sea, she turns to the business by which her mother’s family once prospered: brewing ale. Armed with her Dutch mother’s recipes and a belief that anything would be better than the life her vindictive cousin has offered her, she makes a deal with her father’s aristocratic employer: Anneke has six months to succeed or not only will she lose the house but her family as well.  Through her enterprise and determination, she inadvertently earns herself a deadly enemy. Threatened and held in contempt by those she once called friends, Anneke nonetheless thrives. But on the tail of success, tragedy follows and those closest to her pay the greatest price for her daring. Ashamed, grieving, and bearing a terrible secret, Anneke flees to London, determined to forge her own destiny. Will she be able to escape her past, and those whose only desire is to see her fail? A compelling insight into the brewer’s craft, the strength of women, and the myriad forms love can take. An unforgettable tale of love, treachery and ale in medieval England

I Give This ...

This book took me a long time to read. I would go through spurts were I felt like I was making headway. And then there would be times that I could barely get through a couple pages. Add to the fact that it's hefty at almost 600 pages, and you have a monster of a historical fiction.

All that aside, I did enjoy the book. Anneke's life is not one that I would wish upon anyone. But, she never gave up. She endures her father's death, the ridicule of her cousin, taking up a profession that is considered for men only. All with the church and specific men out to thwart her every move.

I was horrified at the events that lead to her having to move to London. As if losing her father and her way of laugh wasn't hard enough, then she had to endure all that cruelty at the hands of someone else. And life did not get any easier for her in London. I often wondered how much heartache and loss one person could endure. But Anneke is proof that the soul can take it.

Not my typical historical fiction read, but I am glad that I finally got around to this one.


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