A Poultice For A Healer Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Poultice For A Healer

Berkley, Nov 2003, 22.95, 320 pp.
ISBN 0425191923

In 1354 medieval Spain, Bishop Berengeur de Cruilles trusts Isaac the blind Jewish physician so when he falls ill, he summons the man to care for him. Isaac's daughter Rachel, as his assistant also comes to help. An herbalist arrives, desperate to see the bishop to give him a warning but the poison in his bloodstream kills him before he can tell his excellency about the threat.
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In Girona, two young men each claims that they are heir to a large inheritance. One of them Jacob disappears during a pirate attack. The other claimant Luca an herbalist attempts to set up a practice. When two of his patients are murdered by poison that he had a messenger deliver, the townsfolk's want him tried and executed. Isaac implores the Bishop to wait before convening the court because he believes it was not Luca who delivered the poison. He also believes that these events are somehow related to the dead herbalist who tried to warn the bishop. In his own intuitive yet practical way Isaac tries to expose the guilty party.

Medieval Spain comes vividly to life in the reader's mind after reading A POULTICE FOR A HEAVEN. It feels as if the author is chronicling events that she witnessed. The characters are well developed and it is fascinating to see the relationship between Christians and Jews during a period of religious strife. The people of Girona peacefully coexist with only minor troubles breaking out between the two religions. The protagonist might be blind but he sees more clearly than most people. Fans of historical fiction centered on a good mystery will want to read this novel.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of A Poultice For A Healer

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   Religious Jew


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Spain

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Caroline Roe Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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