by Susann Cokal
A medieval village under siege turns to the most unlikely saints and saviors in this darkly comic debut about religious expediency and human ecstasy. ... Show synopsis A medieval village under siege turns to the most unlikely saints and saviors in this darkly comic debut about religious expediency and human ecstasy. Villeneuve, France, Anno Domini 1372. The village is under siege and people are starving when Bonne Mirabilis, wet nurse to the wealthiest and most enigmatic woman in town, realizes that she alone has the bounty with which to feed the hungry-and not by convincing her patroness to open her warehouses. But it's a defiant act of generosity: When she was twelve years old, her sainted mother, the two priests suspected of being her father, and all the village women who believed Bonne's conception had been immaculate were locked into the church and set afire. With a masterful sense of history and the visceral spirit of The Decameron, newcomer Susann Cokal combines the outrageous and the wondrous into the story of Bonne, a woman born "God's bastard", on her way to sainthood with the troop of ascetics, mystics, lovers, and jesters who keep her milk flowing. Mirabilis is a remarkable and confident debut-an endlessly surprising tale about appetite and miracle, all four humors in abundance, and human ecstasy of every sort-a novel that carries the reader into that sweet rare air between the ridiculous and the sublime.