Plague-widow Alice atte Wode is desperate to find her missing daughter, but her neighbours are rebelling against their masters and their mutiny is hindering the search.
June 1349. In a Hampshire village, the worst plague in England’s history has wiped out half its population, including Alice atte Wode’s husband and eldest son. The plague arrived only days after Alice’s daughter Agnes mysteriously disappeared, and it prevented the search for her.
Now the plague is over, the village is trying to return to normal life, but it’s hard, with so much to do and so few left to do it. Conflict is growing between the manor and its tenants, as the workers realise their very scarceness means they’re more valuable than before: they can demand higher wages, take on spare land, and have a better life. This is the chance they’ve all been waiting for.
Although she understands their demands, Alice is disheartened that the search for Agnes is once more put on hold. When one of the rebels is killed, and then the lord's son is found murdered, it seems the two deaths may be connected, both to each other and to Agnes’s disappearance.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“It was hard to understand where God’s love was in all this desolation...” So many tenets had died in Meonbridge with the Plague, that the entire town is different. There are those who want to keep the status quo, and those who want more. Was the mortality- as the people call it, G-d’s wrath? If so, why didn’t “the sinners” die and the good people, especially the children, succumb? Every family was affected in the Village, either by illness or it’s aftermath. What happens now? The problem with this book is that it is really slow and verbose, and I found myself so looking forward to it. When the chapters simply begin to sound the same even through another chracter’s Eyes, I began to avoid reading it, or fell asleep reading it. It dragged. I so wanted it not too, but it did. I do not recommend this book. 2/5 [disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley and it has not affected my opinions]
This is probably in my TOP 5 favorite books this year. I requested this book from NetGalley for review as I was already fascinated by its description. There is a lot of good I want to comment on about this book so lets start with the front of it. To start with I was intrigued by the cover as you can see it is several people making up a wheel to a ship. The characters on the front all see vastly different and you can already tell that there is going to be many different types of characters to this book all leading very different lives, from what appears to be families to hard laborers, even to children trying to live out their youths. After flipping over and reading the synopsis one can’t help but wonder who among the people are the front will live and who all will perish? Next up I want to touch how upon opening the book you are given a cast of characters. I really wish more series of books or books that focus around multiple POV’s or even ones with a very diverse line of characters would have these as it sometimes makes the lengthier stories a little easier to follow and gives you a tease of whats to come. The writing in this novel blew me away! Carolyn has definitely done her research for this book and gives a wonderful spin on history. I actually learned a lot from this book. I found myself rushing to my computer to do my own research just to learn more after I reached this books end. It was interesting to see all the hierarchy’s between the classes and even how some lower classes had such social standings as well. The characters in this novel were very complex and each one brought their own powerful punch to the book. They were well paced and their own background and family style was intriguing to read, even if not heartbreaking at times. Overall I give this book 10 out of 5 stars. (yes i know 10 from 5 isn’t possible but that is how high I rate this book)
The Black Death has just swept through Meonbridge, England leaving devastation in its wake; despair of losing loved ones, labor disputes and shortages, feuds between families, murders, missing people and an oppressive church telling them it's their fault. There is not one aspect of life that wasn't affected by this devastating event. Fortune’s Wheel by Carolyn Hughes explores the aftermath of the Black Death in Meonbridge and how the survivors try to get back to normal life. It was refreshing to read this tale from the perspective of three of the surviving women. I feel women are under-represented in historical events. I noticed three themes run through this story; a labor movement, the plight of women, and religious oppression. For me, it started slowly, but about halfway, I got a feel for the characters, cared about them and wanted to know what would happen next. Fortune’s Wheel is an enjoyable novel that highlights the strength and resilience of women to persevere in the worst of times.