Book: Love of Shadows (The Healer's Shadow) by Zoe Brookscategories: Book, Stronge Heroine, Healer, Magic Realism, Women's Fiction, Series, Healer's Shadow, Persecution, Traditional Medicine, Fantasy
Zoe Brooksabout this book: Love of Shadows is the story of the young perfume-maker Judith and her Shadow, Sarah. Elma, their employer and Judith's mentor, has just died and Judith is trying cope with her grief. In the city, where they live, women healers are persecuted in favour of the university-trained male doctors. Judith is accused of making medicine for Elma and then of killing her, but she escapes prosecution. Judith's mother was a healer and Judith increasingly feels that she is called to follow in her mother's footsteps. Then scarlet fever breaks out and Judith must decide whether she will risk the gallows to help others.
The book is partly inspired by the history of the persecution of women healers in 14th - 17th century Europe, during this time possibly over a million of such women were executed as witches and the knowledge of many herbs and other cures was lost. I am fascinated by the question of how and why some people will defy persecution to help others.
Why did I choose this title? The central character and the book's narrator, Judith, has a Shadow called Sarah. Shadows seem like human beings, but they do not have human emotions. Because of their difference they are victims of prejudice and persecution. When Shadows are attacked, Judith's love for Sarah drives her to help. That love is also why Judith is drawn to a man called Bruno, who too knows what it is to love a Shadow. The concept of a Shadows/human divide allows me to explore what goes into being human, about prejudice and relationships.
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