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Friday, January 7, 2011

The Healer's Apprentice

I had heard some good things about The Healer's Apprentice, so when it was offered as a review by Zonderkidz, I said yes.
The Healer's Apprentice
I enjoy learning of other time periods through fiction.  Whether it is a book about Anne, Betsy, or a book by well-known (to some) authors like Francine Rivers, Lynn Austin, or Grace Livingston Hill, these contain nuggets of history that I appreciate.

The Healer's Apprentice offered a lot of details of lower and upper class living in 1382 in Lower Saxony.  I also liked learning about the role of the healer-a woman (at least in this case) that worked in the castle to offer medical help to those in the community.

Rose is a wood cutter's daughter who has just begun working at the castle as the healer's apprentice.  Lord Hamlin is injured and comes for help from the healer and meets Rose.  They strike a friendship, though Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a princess he has never met.  Though they care for one another, Lord Hamlin's brother, Lord Rupert, is engaged by the beauty of Rose.  Rose convinces herself that Rupert is the one for her, despite his questionable history.  But Rose does live happily ever after.

Though I had read several reviews, I must have skimmed the description (as I often do since I like surprises).  I did not realize this was a romance!  The romance is strong in this book.  It is a Christian novel, and the target audience is teens.  The writing in this book was solid.  However, I would not recommend a young teen read this book (at least this conservative woman will say that).  Even though there are few kisses in the book, and most are on the hand, I still felt the descriptive emotional and physical responses to the touch or kiss were a bit much for a younger person to read.  Like most romances, even Christian romance novels, I felt that the actions by the characters lead to unrealistic expectations by the reader in a real relationship.  I think this is book should have been marketed for adults, not teens.  But then again, I don't typically read teen romance, so this may be perfectly acceptable and innocent.  I do know that adults who like historical romances will enjoy The Healer's Apprentice.  I did enjoy it.  I just needed to share my concerns in my review.

One thing I definitely enjoy finding out is that author, Melanie Dickerson wrote this book in an attempt to make a more realistic fairy-tale.   I think she accomplished that!
Thank you, Zonderkidz, for providing this book for review purposes.


Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

Sounds like a great read! And I understand your concerns. I have the same ones.

Shonda said...

I agree with Laura.

Julia said...

I love historical fiction! It has to be my favorite genre. Ill have to give this one a look! Thanks for the heads up.

Carrie said...

Your disclaimer is exactly why I don't think I would be able to really enjoy it very well so I appreciate you stating it! I would have picked it up as a YA book and then been TERRIBLY annoyed. But perhaps if I think of it is an adult book then I would do just fine. But I really appreciate knowing about that specific aspect of the book and I also agree with you in that frequently those types of descriptions set young girls up for unrealistic expectations of what a real relationship is like. I know this to be true because I set myself up poorly by reading romance novels when I was a teen. I remember what I was thinking! And I don't really appreciate authors who lead teenage girls down this romantic path. Sometimes it can be very destructive.

BUT! As an adult, the books can be a bit more enjoyable. =)

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