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The year 1348 is not a good time to be a healer in Europe. Midwife Héloïse lives in a cottage outside Lucie-sur-Vionne, where she walks an awkward line between villagers who need her services and others who fear that she owes more to the black arts than their medical counterparts. When she threatens an invading bandit chieftain with the power of her angel talisman, her enemies are more than ever convinced that she dabbles in witchcraft. But Héloïse has sworn an oath on her dead mother's soul to help those in need, and she refuses to let a few hostile ignoramuses deter her.
Le mort bleu–known to history as the Black Death–arrives quietly on a ship from the east. At first, the villagers make little of it. But Héloïse's husband, fresh in from Florence, recognizes the symptoms of the disease that has devastated Italy and orders his wife not to treat the sufferers, lest she bring pestilence into their house. The villagers' suspicions mount with the body count, and Héloïse's struggle with her husband intensifies as her concern for her family conflicts with her oath. When the local count takes an interest in Héloïse's healing gift, even her talisman may not suffice to protect her.
Interview about this novel at New Books in Historical Fiction.