Auda was nearly never born. When her father and older sister were rushing for the midwife, her mother was in agonizing pain. It is 14th century France, where of course a different time and place. As the midwife arrives, it is just as her mother goes unconscious. There was one choice – a midevil cesarean, or both would die.
Her father being a paper maker, they all lived a meager existence. Growing up, Auda was sheltered because of her looks – pale white skin, white hair, not looking like her sister or the other people in the town they lived in. She would have been murdered or thought of as a witch. She doesn’t know how to speak either.
One day however, her father receives an order of paper from the palace. Their worries are over. Once they head over to the fair, Auda comes across some special and not before seen watermarks that her father can use. As she thinks about it, then her father’s paper would be known all over and he would get more business.
Unbeknownst to Auda, a watermark is known to people who do not follow the church as heretics. More and more they have been hearing about inquisitors in town, gathering people who are, and taking them to jail and worse. Some have been burned at the stake.
In the midst of all this, she meets a man that she befriends and eventually falls in love with.
I liked this book. The story woven from history along with the abundance of real questions that came to mind give the book not only an enjoyable read, but ponderance as well as relevance. Not only then, but today as well.