About the novel Red Madder Root, by author Hilary Jacobson
This novel cleverly unpacks the historical suppression of women and their healing arts, from Mesolithic times to the modern era. We witness Mayana, a young girl on the verge of womanhood, receiving a mystical red cloak from her shamanic grandmother—marking the start of her destiny as a carrier of ancient feminine wisdom. Each tale that Grandmother tells unveils the struggles and triumphs of women across different periods, serving as Mayana’s—and the reader’s—guide in balancing mind, soul, body, and sensuality.
The red cloak, dyed with the madder root, becomes a recurring symbol representing a continuum of suppressed female wisdom, from herbal healing to reproductive autonomy. The stories don’t merely recount history; they offer a roadmap towards a future where this wisdom is acknowledged, celebrated, and passed forward through generations of brave and wise women.
“Red Madder Root, Tales of Initiation” isn’t just another retelling of the fairy tales we grew up with; it’s a revelation of their forgotten layers, told through the lens of female empowerment. Despite its profound themes, the novel captivates with heartfelt characters and storytelling that speaks to both heart and mind.