The Wise Woman - Philippa Gregory

The Wise Woman

By Philippa Gregory

  • Release Date: 2008-05-27
  • Genre: Historical
  • Size: 11.24 MB
Score: 3.5
From 74 Ratings

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory weaves an unforgettable tale of a young woman’s sorcery and desire in Henry VIII’s England, where magic, lust, and power are forever intertwined.

Growing up as an abandoned outcast on the moors, young Alys’ only company is her cruel foster mother, Morach, the local wise woman who is whispered to practice the dark arts. Alys joins a nunnery to escape the poverty and loneliness she has felt all her life, but all too soon her sanctuary is destroyed. King Henry VIII’s followers burn the holy place to the ground, and Alys only just manages to escape with her life, haunted by the screams of her sisters as they burned to death.

She finds work in a castle not far from where she grew up as an old lord’s scribe, where she falls obsessively in love with his son Hugo. But Hugo is already married to a proud woman named Catherine. Driven to desperation by her desire, she summons the most dangerous powers Morach taught her, but quickly the passionate triangle of Alys, Hugo, and Catherine begins to explode, launching them into uncharted sexual waters. The magic Alys has conjured now has a life of its own—a life that is horrifyingly and disastrously out of control.

Is she a witch? Since heresy means the stake, and witchcraft the rope, Alys is in mortal danger, treading a perilous path between her faith and her own power.


  • A different side to Gregory, but no less intriguing and brilliant.

    By Mellie0818
    I'm not sure why this book doesn't have more 5 star reviews. Yes, it is a much different style than Philippa Gregory's books of the royal houses, but that does not mean that it is any less amazing. To any of her readers that have read her earlier books (Wideacre trilogy, The Little House), this is just a return to her days of darker novels. Set in the reign of King Henry VIII, but well away from the intrigues of the court, is a young woman trying to live a life of sainthood amongst a world of witchcraft and sin. Brought up by a wise woman by the river, or a witch as others would call her in poverty, but called to a life of cleanliness and sainthood, Alys thinks for the first time that she is home. But under the new Church of England, she finds herself thrown out into the sinful world she left, and is forced to find her way again. This book is superbly written, and it's conclusion is nothing short of brilliant. A must read. Bravo!
  • Bad ending

    By L.laura2002
    Such a terrible fable ending. Left me wanting more. If I had known the ending I wouldn't have read the book.
  • What a waste of time

    By Joshizzyk
    Not at all like her other works I read. Really, I just was not prepared for the pointless nonsense and the gory details of things that in the end were pointless. All of the characters except the abbess where vile. I only read on in hopes that somewhere the book would have SOME point but in the end.... It was just awful! Coming from some one who does enjoy this writer... Save your money and your time.... Read another book!
  • The wise woman

    By shannonvolfson
    Not like her other historical fiction. Improbable. Found main character to be highly unlikeable, which I believe was how author wanted her to be portrayed. Weird, rapid ending. Long story that reminded me of an accelerating car that slams into a wall and poof! The end. A vacation read at best. Just not more than that. If your looking to find a book to jump start your interest on a particular time of history on a historical fiction by reading this, look elsewhere. If you want to read about mediocre character development, bizarre wax-created babies that ooze from a uterus (uggh and bizarre) and voodoo wax dolls that march down a muddy street, underwhelming information on herbalists and theoretical witchcraft during Henry's reign, then maybe you will like this book. I'm giving it 3 stars vs 2 because I'm on vacation and wanted a mind numbing book. Now that I have finished it, I feel ashamed to have wasted my time on it. If I could change my rating to 1.5, that would be more accurate. Gregory seems to be on the tail of V.C. Andrews.