In Progress: Company of Liars


The Black DeathA student of mine loaned me Karen Maitland’s novel Company of Liars, and when a student loans me a novel, I feel an extra compulsion to finish it. I was, however, having some trouble getting into this novel until right about yesterday when I was somewhere between 50 and 100 pages in. Then the characters drew me in, and I had read enough positive reviews of the novel to expect it to end with a bang.

One of the novel’s selling points is its historical accuracy. I have to say I have no trouble feeling as though I am traveling with the company, trying to flee the pestilence right along with them. The sights, smells, and atmosphere of the Middle Ages is perhaps too realistic, but certainly is accurate. Life in the Middle Ages was difficult. I think a lot of books set in the Middle Ages, perhaps even including my own, romanticize it a bit too much.

The Black Plague has been one of my grimmer interests–one I’ve shared with my husband, as a matter of fact. The fear of the Plague is all too palpable in this novel. Nine companions are brought together while fleeing the Plague. Each of the nine travelers in this novel has a secret. I think I have some of the secrets figured out, but nearly halfway into the novel, I know I have a way to go before I unravel the rest. Expect, as always, my review once I finish. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a good Plague yarn, pick it up and read along with me.

Image obtained from Rancho Buena Vista High School Advanced Placement European History and is used in accordance with Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Purposes.