Saturday, November 12, 2011
"The Witch's Brat" by Rosemary Sutcliff (guest reviewer Runningfree)
"From the moment I picked up The Witch's Brat, I was hooked. Sutcliff follows the journey of a deformed, quiet, boy with the gift of healing in his hands, a head for herbs and their uses, a heart of kindness. One shoulder is hunched and his leg is crooked, leaving even the simple manner of walking to be a painful and arduous task. One day, on his way back from errands, he stops and watches the neighbor's cow who has, over the past three days, been growing extremely thin. Lovel believes the cow ate something that is causing her to lose so much weight so rapidly and is concerned. The neighbors raise a fuss, saying he's cast the Evil Eye upon their milking cow and Lovel is the reason the cow is sick. The neighbors create such a ruckus that a mob starts and soon stones are thrown at Lovel, driving him out and away into the wide, unknown world.
In less than 200 pages, I grew to admire Lovel and his tenacity, watched him grow in confidence as he discovered his gift for healing, and cheered him on when he doubted himself and his purpose.
Sutcliff's writing is so rich and hearty, I love her storytelling prowess, her ability to weave in so much without bogging you down. I can't say that I adore her characters like I've adored other characters but I admire them, I want to be like them, they are real, down to earth, dust covered, people that bleed, cry, and struggle through years of adversity.
Lovel, though he has been beaten by men, still has the capacity to forgive and care for them when they are ailing, old, weak and tired. He heals them, much as he heals himself.
I'd HIGHLY recommend this book no matter your age. For those of you who don't read any witchcraft, don't let the name throw you off. There is no sorcery whatsoever."