This reading group guide for The Fruit of Her Hands includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Michelle Cameron. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
IntroductionThe Fruit of Her Hands
details the life of Shira, a rabbi’s wife who perseveres amid rising anti-Semitism in thirteenth-century Europe. Raised by her widowed father and a Christian nursemaid in Normandy, Shira is a free-spirited, inquisitive girl whose love of learning shocks the community. Her life changes radically when her father remarries in the hope of gaining a male heir and a handsome scholar with radical views, Nicholas Donin, comes to study with her father. Donin tries to capture Shira’s heart, but her father will not allow her to marry such a firebrand. When Shira’s father is arrested by the local baron intent on enforcing the Catholic Church’s strictures against heresy, Shira fights for his release and encounters two men who will influence her life profoundly: an inspiring Catholic priest and Meir ben Baruch, a brilliant scholar who will become her husband and soulmate.
Married to Meir and living in Paris, Shira blossoms as a wife and mother, savoring th