A historical novel set in 1610 France. Most of the action occurs in an abbey on an island off the coast. King Henry IV has recently been murdered and the boy king, Louis XIII has assumed the throne.
The heroine of the piece, Juliette (among other names) is an aerialist and actress with a minstrel troupe, led by a conman named Guy LaMerle. They have a love/hate relationship. The troupe is split when the minstrels are blamed for what looks like a recurrence of the plague. The pregnant Juliette goes to live at Abbey of Sainte Marie-de-la-mer where her daughter, Fleur, is born. She is leading a rather normal existence until the kind Reverend Mother dies. She is replaced by the powerful bishop's twelve-year-old niece who is under the thumb of LaMerle, disguised as her confessor.
Juliette knows that LaMerle is plotting something; she tries to leave with her daughter, but LaMerle, who wants to use her in his plot, kidnaps Fleur.
The suspense revolves around LaMerle's motivation in wanting to embarrass the bishop. What is there in his background that makes him hate the bishop so much? There's a twist.
Super book, a true page turner with an unexpected twist at the end. I truly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.
In interesting medieval tale but with the same great voice as Chocolat and Coastliners.