One frosty evening, a girl who knows no home, no parents, and no name but Brat finds shelter and warmth in a farmer's dung heap. There Jane the village midwife finds her. So it is that Brat -- now called Beetle by her new mistress -- begins her career as a midwife's apprentice.
It's not a soft life. Jane is a hard woman with a sharp glance and a sharper temper. Still, Beetle makes a place for herself, adopting a cat and befriending one of the village boys. By secretly watching Jane work, she learns some of the skills the midwife greedily tries to hide. Beetle even gives herself a real name at last. Alyce.
Then one day she fails at an important assignment. Alyce runs away, believing she is too stupid to be of use to anyone. Is she truly Brat, a know-nothing who belongs nowhere? Or is she Alyce, the midwife's apprentice, a person with a name and a place in the world?
Original title: The Midwife's Apprentice
Genre: Fiction→ Children & Young Adult→ Historical Fiction