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A Discussion Guide

The Midwife's Apprentice

General themes: Overcoming adversity, Finding identity

Questions for Discussion

• In what ways does Alyce demonstrate intelligence? Why do you think some people call her a "lackwit fool"?

• What are some of the villagers' beliefs and superstitions? Why is it important for the author to include those beliefs in the story?

• Who or what is "the devil"? What do the devil's visits reveal about the villagers?

• What events and beliefs about herself cause Alyce to leave the midwife? What makes her decide to return?

• In what ways do Jane Sharp, Will, the cat, Edward, Jennet, and Magister Reese all help Alyce to find her place in the world?

• How is life different for children of Alyce's time than it is for children now? How is it similar?

• Do you think Alyce will succeed in making a life for herself? Why?

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