The Good Wife of Bath: A (Mostly) True Story by Karen Brooks

Publication Date: 7 July 2021

‘In her own words …’

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Set between 1364 and 1401, Ms Brooks takes Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘Wife of Bath’ out of the pages of the Canterbury Tales and breathes life into her. A woman mocked in ‘The Canterbury Tales’ becomes a strong woman trying to make her way in a world in which women were definitely second-class citizens. This is a world haunted by the plague of the Black Death, where religion is important and where poverty is rife.

And what an interesting woman Eleanor Cornfeld becomes! In her own first-person narration, we follow Eleanor’s life, from her first marriage at age 12 in 1364, through her four subsequent marriages, pilgrimages, business ventures and wild fluctuations in fortune. Geoffrey Chaucer himself appears in the novel, occasionally giving Eleanor advice along the way. Eleanor fights hard to gain control of her own life and to take care of those who are important to her. She might not win every battle, but she certainly tries hard. Join Eleanor as she negotiates the ordure flung at her with humour and cunning. Wonderfully written historical fiction and thoroughly recommended.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia, HQ for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith



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