Librarian M shares her latest favorite:
The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
Botille lives in Provence (modern-day southern France) in the 13th century. She helps her two sisters run a tavern and their lives are finally starting to feel settled and happy. Then, during a short trip, Botille finds a girl named Dolssa almost dead by the river and decides to bring her home to care for her bringing both miracles and trouble to her whole town.
Dolssa is Catholic mystic and is wanted as a heretic by the Catholic Church. She escaped being burned alive and has been evading a persistent friar for weeks. The town venerates her at first, but once Church officials begin arriving, the villagers realize how much danger they are in.
Berry has clearly done a lot of research for this story, and the details about the town and its inhabitants are fascinating. The story is also deeply engrossing and though the book is on the long side, I flew through it in a weekend. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction or anyone looking to get lost in a good book.