Synopsis From Back Cover:
The daughter of a papermaker in 1320s France, Auda has an ability to read and write that comes from a place of need. Silenced, she finds hope and opportunity in the intricacies of her father's craft. But the powerful forces of the ruling parties in France form a nearly insurmountable obstacle.
In a time when new ideas were subject to accusations of heresy, Auda dares to defy the status quo. Born albino, believed to be curesed, and rendered mute before she'd ever spoken, her very survival is a testament to the strength of her spirit. As Auda grows into womanhood, she reclaims her heritage in a quest for love and a sense of self.
I'm happy to report that I enjoyed this one for what it was, a look at a young woman's life in France during the Middle Ages. One thing that stood out about me in this book is something I rarely ever think all that much about. I'm always amazed when reading a book, fiction or non, that refers to the base supersition that the human race found itself living under in the past. I was horrified when the healer's assistant cuts Auda's tongue out right after she is born so she won't be able to sprend Satan's lies, all that because she was born albino. I was even more disturbed to be reminded that such men and women were routinely left to die when they were born or blamed for the troubles of a particular town, and were killed as a result. Throw in The Inquisition and you have a mixture ripe for chaos and bloodshed.
When I read such accounts, I'm always saddened by what humans are capable of, especially when it comes to those we view as "different" from us. Luckily we have evolved a lot since then but we have miles to go still. All we have to do is look too the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur, the way women are subjugated in many parts in the world, and all those countries that execute men and women for being gay, including teenagers, to realize how far we still have to go.
Well now that I'm done with that soapbox, I will get back to the book itself. I found it to be a well written account of one person's life as she is trying to find her plac in the world. Auda, is obvisously a very intelligent woman who would fit in will in today's society. She is also a very head strong charcater, once she makes up her mind on something, she sticks to it no matter what the consequences may be. I enjoyed reading her life story including finding love in a world that didn't make it easy for her. This was a book, that even with it's happy ending, took a couple of dangerous curves that I greatly appreciated and felt added to the story. This wasn't a "safe" happy story and I'm so happy I go the opportunity to read it.
Speaking of the ending, I sort of had a teeny, tiny issue with it. Now this is a issue I've had with a lot of books lately and I'm not sure if it's that I'm getting older or something else I haven't thought of yet. I found the ending of the book to be a little rushed. The begining and the middle sections sort of stayed at a nice pace, neither plodding along slowly or rushing forward like a runaway train. The ending on the other hand felt like the author ran out of time to tell her story, so she had to rush the action a little. The only other issue I had was the lecherous nobleman, he just felt out of place and not necessary to the story. It was almost like he was an afterthought.
I want to thank Trish of TLC Book Tours for the pleasure of reading this one. I may end up being a convert to historical fiction afterall.
For more on Vanitha Sankaran, please visity her website.
For More Reviews, Please Stop By These Other Stops On The Tour:
Monday, April 5th: Bibliofreak
Wednesday, April 7th: Savvy Verse & Wit
Thursday, April 8th: Serendipitous Reading
Monday, April 12th: Wordsmithonia
Tuesday, April 13th: Book Nerd Extraordinaire
Wednesday, April 14th: Rundpinne
Monday, April 19th: Raging Bibliomania
Wednesday, April 21st: Thoughts From an Evil Overlord
Thursday, April 22nd: Devourer of Books
Monday, April 26th: Café of Dreams
Tuesday, April 27th: Starting Fresh
Wednesday, April 28th: A Few More Pages
Thursday, April 29th: Reading, Writing, and Retirement