When a comet appears in the sky over England in 1066, Ailith, a young Saxon wife, feels sure that it can only bode well, in spite of her husband’s fears. With a child on its way, the couple are prosperous and content. Yet, within a year, Ailith’s joy turns to heartache as her husband and her child are taken from her and the conquering Normans advance.
Ailith’s grief turns to love for a brief period with Rolf de Brize, a handsome and womanising Norman invader. She bears him one daughter, but in the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings she discovers a betrayal she cannot forgive . . .
Years later, the spirited and strong-willed Julitta is determined to find happiness, and yet her life has been filled with pain: from surviving life in a brothel in Southwark to suffering the pain of a forbidden love and a bitter, loveless marriage. Her quest takes her on a Pilgrimage to Compostella to a colourful horse fair in Bordeaux, to the terrors of piracy on the open sea.
From Library Journal
The year is 1066 when Norman womanizer Rolf de Brize saves the life of a Saxon woman, Ailith, who tries to kill herself after losing both her husband and her child following the Normans’ invasion of England. Installed as chatelaine of Rolf’s English estate, Ailith resolves to remain chaste, but her determination is sorely tried by Rolf, who is already married and has a child. These are not simply modern characters dressed in medieval garb but very clearly men and women of their time, and their fascinating story is completely involving and believable. Chadwick (The Wild Hunt, St. Martin’s, 1991) is a prize-winning historical novelist who does not romanticize what was often a dangerous and brutal time, particularly for women. Intelligent, enjoyable, and entertaining, this novel will be appreciated by readers of Sharan Newman’s medieval mysteries (e.g., Strong as Death, LJ 8/96).?Elizabeth Mary Mellett, Brookline P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A young Saxon woman suffers the harsh consequences of the Norman invasion of England in this epic melodrama. After both her husband and brothers suffer violent deaths at the hands of the conquerors, Ailith temporarily loses her wits and attempts to take her own life. Thwarted by Rolf de Brize, a lusty, sympathetic Norman, Ailith agrees to assume the position of chatelaine of his English estate. Though she bears his child and spends many contented years as his mistress, she reluctantly realizes that the fundamental gulf that separates them is too wide to sufficiently bridge. When she discovers that Rolf has betrayed her both physically and spiritually, Ailith flees, bequeathing her young daughter a bitter legacy of love and loss. Historical romance on a grand scale.Margaret Flanagan