The Angel Makers by Jessica Gregson
I was intrigued when I read in a review that this novel was based on a true story. This is the story of life in a rural village in Hungary that spans the years leading up to, during, and after World War I. Sari Arany is the main character, a young herbalist trained by her doctor father before he passed away. As the story progresses and the years go by with hardly any men in the village the women get used to the way life has changed. They are friendly with each other, tease each other and are very relaxed in their manner. Then the war ends and everything changes when the male residents return to the village.
Men that were abusive become even more tyrannical and men who seemed kind are anything but. It is this dynamic that forces Sari’s hand and turns her from healer to an accessory to murder. She provides the poisons which make problems go away. She is the angel maker, another name for an abortionist, yet now she is helping make much bigger angels.
This is a wonderful psychological study of a town of women who find freedom and then lose it and their reactions to their circumstances. Human nature really shows its true stripes when the plot comes crashing down under investigation. For fans of historical fiction, women’s fiction and psychological thrillers.