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Publisher's Summary

It had been Mother's secret and mine, one passed down through the de Winter women for generations. I would ensure it was kept that way, until I was ready to pass it on.When Anneke Sheldrake is forced to find a way to support her family after her father is lost at sea, she turns to the business by which her mother’s family once prospered: brewing ale.

Armed with her Dutch mother’s recipes and a belief that anything would be better than the life her vindictive cousin has offered her, she makes a deal with her father’s aristocratic employer: Anneke has six months to succeed or not only will she lose the house but her family as well.

Through her enterprise and determination, she inadvertently earns herself a deadly enemy. Threatened and held in contempt by those she once called friends, Anneke nonetheless thrives. But on the tail of success, tragedy follows and those closest to her pay the greatest price for her daring.Ashamed, grieving, and bearing a terrible secret, Anneke flees to London, determined to forge her own destiny. Will she be able to escape her past, and those whose only desire is to see her fail?

A compelling insight into the brewer’s craft, the strength of women, and the myriad forms love can take.

©2014 Karen Brooks (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A page-turner rich in historical detail and generous in emotional justice ... A fascinating read." ( Books + Publishing)
"This is the best book I have read in a long time, if not ever. Karen Brooks is committed to delivering an authentic, historical read that is still engaging ... It was a book where I didn't want to get off the train, I didn't want to sleep, I didn't want lunch break to end, I didn't want to go out because I just HAD to keep reading." ( Goodreads)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Valerie
  • HEATH, OH, United States
  • 01-28-15

Good story

This tale, although long, kept my interest throughout. It deserved better narration as the intonation was clueless, and some of the pronunciation was hilarious.
However, the content was an interesting and knowledgeable portrayal of the times, and it was worth listening to.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • dm
  • 10-29-15

Good story

I love historical fiction and this is a great find. There are not many books told about a woman's life, and even fewer from the viewpoint of a non-noble woman. The story keeps you listening with its twists and turns.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed every moment

Well done to everyone involved in this book; it is fabulous. The narrator did an excellent job from start to end. Thank you!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Listenable

Good enough story but not the best reader. It took me many hours to get used to the rushed way that the reader reads. I wish she would have read just a bit slower.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kept me entranced

What made the experience of listening to The Brewer's Tale the most enjoyable?

I listened to this on the way to and from work for weeks. The different tones for different people were amazing and kept me entertained.

Have you listened to any of Hannah Norris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I want to listen to more of Hannah Norris books.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

annoying , contrived and predictable

I tried hard to like this story but found I had to give up half way through.Narrater annoyed me, the story was contrived and predictable. the language repetitive. No more....I had to stop

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great historical content

didn't like narrator, eemed forced and voice projection was too loud for an audio book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen.

I truly enjoyed this medieval tale of a woman brewer. While long, it was a fascinating read. I learned much about the period & brewing trade esp what was open for women st that time ( there is even more great info at the end in the authors historical notes- I enjoyed these as much as the book ) I highly recommend this to my historical novel loving friends who love period derail and a good tale. I look fwd to more books from this author! I say keep up the great work!

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  • Judith O'Doherty
  • 02-25-18

Spellbinding!!

This book is one of the best books I have fead gripping right through all

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chistine
  • 05-25-17

a great read

So many twists and turns I don't know how she survived. A great history lesson .

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kel
  • 01-28-17

Excellent book great historical novel.



highly recommended. Keeping to the time period was very interesting. Might take up beer after reading this- learnt so much!