Belle, a ‘life-in-the-head’ dreamer, obsessed by things coming in threes, has inadvertently caused her widowed bell-founder father to lose the use of his legs. She determines upon joining a pilgrimage to Canterbury, along with Master Chaucer himself, in the hope that her prayers will be answered and her father will, by some miracle, walk again. Each chapter is headed with apposite quotes from The Canterbury Tales and I had expected to hear the Tales themselves evolve on the journey. However, though some of Chaucer’s characters reveal themselves, the story takes a series of rather different turns.
It’s a pacy, sometimes racy, tale of love (with differences of class and same-sex relationships sensitively addressed) and intrigue as well as miracles, and the character of Belle is attractive and engaging. Historical detail is lightly added and London and the journey to Canterbury are well depicted. A very enjoyable read.