The Mandrake Broom
The Mandrake Broom, a historical novel based in Europe 1465-1540, dramatizes one woman’s courageous fight to save medical knowledge during the witch-burning times. Luccia Alimenti, daughter of a medical professor at the University of Salerno, Italy, is destined to carry ancient texts and herbal lore into the dangerous and groundbreaking future. Fiona, her Irish godmother, tries to protect her and forge a family while struggling with epilepsy and grief. Marcelle, a hunter and co-conspirator, takes up arms for revenge when they are pushed to the brink. Theo Paracelsus, father of modern chemistry, a brilliant eunuch and addict, works with Luccia to forge a bridge between the new and old medicines. The Mandrake Broom involves the tension between visibility and invisibility, between internal strength and external powerlessness, and the continually fluid interplay of those factors, while it takes the reader through persecution and plague, love and joy, and the struggle for unity.