Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Down the Common

Down the Common: A Year in the Life of a Medieval Woman is one of the most satisfactory books I have read in a while. This novel by Ann Baer follows the life of Marion, the wife of Peter, a carpenter, through a year of her adult life. Through her experiences and memories, life in feudal England is realistically and sympathetically portrayed.

Times are hard, amusements are few, but families and villages pull together to survive and thrive. The common good, not the welfare of individuals, is what is most important and ever in view. I enjoyed the matter-of-fact recounting of everyday living - it reminded me of how easy my life is. I also enjoyed the frequent references to spinning wool, and it made me want to get out my spinning wheel and wool and spin for my family.

I'm hoping I can find another book like this to read soon.



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