Sweeping us from plague-ravaged Europe to the terrifying near future, acclaimed author Ann Benson brings two eras brilliantly to life. The Physician’s Tale is a spellbinding saga of two healers separated by six centuries, both facing terror and trials, bound together by history, science, and destiny.
In the near future, in the hills of the American Northeast, a group of men, women, and children band together for survival against nature and human enemies, huddling in the only corner of the world they know. Among these people is Janie Crowe, a physician whose son is her greatest hope and deepest secret. Etched into Janie’s memory is the ancient journal of a Jewish man of medicine–a man who fought for survival in his own age of plague.
In Europe, in the age of the Black Death, Alejandro Canches must hide his identity–and break his oath as a physician for the sake of his and his loved ones’ lives. As France and England are locked in war, and disease lays waste to both, Alejandro’s daughter Kate is caught in the clutches of King Edward of England. Betrayed by a patient, hunted by the king, Alejandro makes a desperate journey to Windsor itself, where a clever scribe named Geoffrey Chaucer has hatched a fantastic plan for Kate’s escape….
As the story of Alejandro and his family builds to a gripping climax, and as Janie’s life is racked by trials and the dawning of a new age, The Physician’s Tale brings together a rich cast of friends and lovers, traitors and healers. Unraveling mysteries of science, history, and the human heart, Ann Benson has created a stunning chronicle of courage in the face of darkness–in a work of vibrant storytelling and unrelenting suspense.
From the bestselling author of The Plague Tales comes a spellbinding new novel that sweeps from medieval France to America in the year 2007—interweaving two gripping stories and two extraordinary eras….
In fourteenth-century France, pockets of plague still bring death to peasants and noblemen alike. Amid the fury and the chaos, Dr. Alejandro Canches searches for a safe haven, accompanied by his foster child, Kate—the illegitimate daughter of Edward Plantagenet. But both disease and human enemies pursue them, and their only hope for survival is a rebel leader… and medical secrets that lie hidden in an ancient manuscript.
Seven hundred years later, Dr. Janie Crowe is searching for the cure for a crippling disease in a world where genetic engineering has gone mad. A repressive government wants to stop her, unnamed benefactors want to help her, and time is running out to find answers linking two dark eras, two dedicated doctors, and one miraculous book….
“Part historical novel, part futuristic adventure . . . chock full of curious lore and considerable suspense.”—Entertainment Weekly
It is history’s most feared disease. It turned neighbor against neighbor, the civilized into the savage, and the living into the dead. Now, in a spellbinding novel of adventure and science, romance and terror, two eras are joined by a single trace of microscopic bacterium—the invisible seeds of a new bubonic plague.
In the year 1348, a disgraced Spanish physician crosses a landscape of horrors to Avignon, France. There, he will be sent on an impossible mission to England, to save the royal family from the Black Death. . . .
Nearly seven hundred years later, a woman scientist digs up a clod of earth in London. In a world where medicine is tightly controlled, she will unearth a terror lying dormant for centuries.
From the primitive cures of the Middle Ages to the biological police state of our near future, The Plague Tales is a thrilling race against time and mass destruction. For in 2005, humankind’s last hope for survival can come only from one place: out of a dark and tortured past.
Praise for The Plague Tales
“Benson reveals a formidable talent as she blends historical fiction with a near-future bio-thriller.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Harrowing . . . Will give readers both nightmares and thrills . . . A carefully woven page-turner from which . . . Robin Cook and Michael Crichton could learn.”—Library Journal
“A hard-to-put-down thriller steeped in historical fiction and bio-tech sci-fi.”—Middlesex News (Mass.)