Book Brief: The Witch of Leper Cove

The Witch of Leper CoveThe Witch of Leper Cove
by Deborah Bogen
Genre of the Book: YA Historical Novel, Medieval
Length: 353 pages

Early in the 13th century Pope Honorius launched the Holy Inquisition sending his Hounds of Gods, into Christendom to root out heresy.

In the English village of Aldinoch, sixteen-year-old Lily and her younger twin brothers have finally accepted their parents’ disappearance and are adjusting to new lives. Separated from each other and their childhood home, grappling with grief, fear, loneliness and guilt, each is sure nothing more can threaten them.

Lily is apprenticed to the local healer, Alice, who takes care of Aldinoch’s sick and gives aid to the colony of lepers living downstream from the village. Her knowledge of the local herbs and illness is the only thing standing between Aldinoch’s villagers and the fevers and agues afflicting them.

But when the Church is infected with worldly ambition not even such a force for good is safe. Bishop Hugo, one of the Pope’s Inquisitors, is called to the nearby town of Guildford to hold hearings and investigate heresy. When Alice is officially accused of witchcraft and imprisoned in Guildford’s ancient dungeon the siblings are forced into action.

In The Witch of Leper Cove we meet not the knights and ladies who so often populate historical novels, but common people caught in the cross-fire of the ruthless and striving. Lily and her brothers are forced to take on a monolithic institution and the powerful men within it. What they discover about the Church and themselves will change them forever.

This book is available from Amazon.

Deborah, tell us about the title of your book. Does it have any special meaning?
“The Witch of Leper Cove” contains two words that caused fear and panic in the minds of early medieval people. I wanted to write about the reality behind the fear. There are clear parallels for us today.

Who was your favorite character and why?
Edric was my favorite. As someone in training to be a monk, he had to wrestle with finding both good and bad men in the institution he hoped to make a life in. At the book’s end he is still not sure if he will stay with the Church.

Does your book have a theme?
This book is meant for the thinkers among us who want to do good in the world even when they must struggle to find a way, and who are willing to discover unknown resources in themselves and others.

What would/could a reviewer say about this book that shows they get you as an author?
“Bogen creates a picture of the 13th century that is as detailed and nuanced as the world we inhabit today. Although true to its time, the crisis between Power and Good that fuels the story is one that still plagues us.”

Give us a favorite line from a review of your book.
“There are many layers to this enthralling story. Deceit, corruption, loss and renewal. There is something very special about the sharp writing and the compellingly unusual plot line.”

Where can folks find out more about you and your writing?

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