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The Greenest Branch (Hildegard of Bingen, #1)

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4.37  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In The Greenest Branch the medieval era comes vividly to life in all its romanticism and splendor, but the societal strictures that prevent women from being able to access education and live independent lives are also on display.

The year is 1115, and Germany is torn apart by a conflict between the Emperor and the Pope over who should have the right to appoint bishops and c
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ebook, 279 pages
Published June 18th 2018 by Iron Knight Press
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4.37  · 
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 ·  68 ratings  ·  19 reviews


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Loretta
What an enjoyable book. On the whole, this is a quiet, thoughtful story about Hildegard of Bingen's early years. I think many people are fascinated by this woman and the author brings her to life well.

Hildegard is a rebel in many ways, refusing to accept the limitations laid on her by the Church because she is a woman. In the light of her own times, she shines like a beacon. Perhaps one of the earliest woman to defy the rules and prove women were not just for decoration, childbearing or prayer
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Wendy Stanley
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Greenest Branch is a book to be savored. The pacing of this novel is gorgeous. Clean, clear, unhurried prose, each word adding to the story. The Greenest Branch is a novel of Germany's first female physician, Hildegard of Bingen. First brought to the Abbey of St. Disibod in 1115 as an unwilling (yet very special) child, over time, Hildegard begins to find her voice, develop her gift of healing, and wield her extraordinary personal power. The flow is so smooth that the reader forgets they are ...more
C.P. Lesley
The twelfth-century German abbess Hildegard of Bingen was a remarkable woman by any standards. Known for her musical compositions and mystical prayers, Hildegard was also Germany’s first recognized female physician. The daughter of minor nobility, she entered the convent in childhood as a tithe from her parents. Excited by the prospect of acquiring an education, then a goal unattainable for girls outside a convent, Hildegard suffers a setback when she confronts the strict seclusion imposed on nu ...more
Paula Butterfield
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You might have heard of Hildegard von Bingen, the medieval abbess who produced theological writings as well as books about herbal medicine, who corresponded with church hierarchy and high-level political leaders. Perhaps you’ve read Mary Sharrott’s book, which focuses on Hildegard’s later life. Maybe you’ve seen the illuminations of her mystical visions, or heard her music, such as O Viridissima Virga or Ordo Virtutum (the first opera written by a woman). If you have encountered Hildegard, did ...more
Kim.J
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Do I want to read a tale of Germany's first female physician? Yes please.

Hildegard von Bingen has had much written about her later life but not about her early childhood in the convent. Adams has taken what little is known and crafted an incredibly detailed and believable story.

What would a girl of the 12th century have done with an incurable thirst for knowledge? How could she succeed despite the oppression of a monastic life run by males? What would she miss? This novel attempts to answer th
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Rosie Amber
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Greenest Branch is historical fiction set in medieval Germany. It is the first book in a series about the Benedictine abbess Hildegard. The story begins in 1115 when, as a child, Hildegard started her training at the convent of St Disibod. The Covent was in the grounds of an Abbey, with Abbot Juno having overall authority over both religious houses.

Hildegard had a natural flair for herbal medicines and a keen mind for politics, but she faced strong opposition to her academic hopes from the m
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Gilli Cohen
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed it very much, however much fiction and speculation was included by necessity. Shame there's no publishing date for the second part yet.
Jena Henry
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
900 years ago. What would it be like to go back to medieval times and see the towns and castles and how people lived? Do you imagine that it would be primitive and simple? What would it be like to follow a young girl of those times? Do you think that she would have had much of a life? Well, you can go back in time and see that world as if you were there, thanks to author P.K. Adams’ vivid and engaging story of Hildegard.

The Greenest Branch is the first in a two-book series based on the true sto
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K.M. Pohlkamp
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had written this book and I can think of no higher praise. Every word of this book is beautiful. The phrasing, the description. P.K. Adams’ talent for writing is evident upon each page of this notable tale.

True to Hildegard’s life, this book has a slow and perhaps flat plot, but I appreciate the author’s honest recount of the physician’s life. At several points I wished Adams had turned up the tension just a bit more, especially with Hildegard’s potential love interest, but in the Autho
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Elaine
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Greenest Branch is an engrossing historical novel set in the 1100’s about the early life of Hildegard of Bingen, Germany’s first female physician.

At the age of 10, Hildegard enters the cloister of the Abbey of St. Disibod, following an ancient custom of families’ tithing their tenth child to the church. Enclosure within the cloister means that Hildegard will never see her family again, but she possesses a deep faith and a strong intellect and is thrilled that, unlike other girls of marriage
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Elaine
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Greenest Branch is an engrossing historical novel set in the 1100’s about the early life of Hildegard of Bingen, Germany’s first female physician.

At the age of 10, Hildegard enters the cloister of the Abbey of St. Disibod, following an ancient custom of families’ tithing their tenth child to the church. Enclosure within the cloister means that Hildegard will never see her family again, but she possesses a deep faith and a strong intellect and is thrilled that, unlike other girls of marriage
...more
Sydney Avey
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Much has been written, but little is known in popular culture about Hildegard of Bingen. P.K. Adams choice to write the polymathic saint’s life story under cover of historical fiction will do much to correct that oversight. Few individuals, men or women, have excelled in as many fields of knowledge as Hildegard. Even fewer have bridged natural science and spirituality.

The monastic life has always been shrouded in mystery, but in modern times we are largely ignorant of the role monasteries playe
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Samantha Winters
I loved this book from start to finish. Adams gives readers the gift and privilege of being inside Hildegard’s mind as her life unfolds. She beautifully captures Hildegard’s love of nature and how to her, nature *was* God. The book reads as if you are carrying on a conversation with Hildegard herself or maybe an interview of Hildegard, in which she does not leave out the harshness of life for a woman of medieval times, while simultaneously remaining full of passion and intelligence, wit, and lov ...more
Francine
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It gives flesh to the skeleton (though substantial) to the life of Hildegard. The facts are right and the dialogue is just wonderful. I look forward to the next installment in this series.
Recommended for those who read historical fiction, lives of the saints and those who are devoted to Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church. She is a saint for all ages.
Hotkitty
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unexpected joy to read.

At first I was not so sure where this book was going. Once the voice was heard though, it did not waiver. I enjoyed the supposition of what Hildegard might have been like. Just enough of the outside world to make her human and intense enough to keep her otherworldly. What an amazing force she would have been at that time!
Emunah
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mixed feelings about the historical liberties that necessarily have to be taken with fiction when so many biographical events are unknown, but the book certainly brings Hildegard of Bingen to life and I’ll eagerly read the sequel.
Piper Huguley
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent

I didn't know anything about Hildegarde but this wonderful novel does what great historical fiction does: make me want to learn more. The rich detail and the spirited nature of Hildegarde's life are highlights of this great story. I eagerly await the next installment.
Peggi
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, a good read

I just finished, and I'm looking forward to the continuation of this story. Well-written, researched and carefully edited. An interesting and captivating tale about a remarkable woman.



Deena L Hogue
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deena L Hogue by: Rita Hockenberry
Awesome book! I can't wait for the second one to come out on Feb 1st.
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I am a Boston-based historical fiction author with a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a master’s degree from Yale University. I am a life-long lover of history, and my goal is to bring stories of lesser-known historical figures and places to the attention of wider audiences. I have a blog where I share my writing journey, review historical fiction, host guest blogs from fellow author ...more