General themes: Overcoming adversity, Finding identity
• 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?