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Reviewed by Anne Boiling for Readers' Favorite
Five years ago Nina Aschauer disappeared. She was searching for Valladine, a city no one had ever heard of it. She had been born in Valladine when her parents escaped the Nazis. Her search lead her to love, a village where time seemed to have stood still, and a codex.
Professor Henry "Henner" Marcus had always been protective of his cousin Nina. When he received a message from her asking for his help and a large sum of money, he left Chicago and headed to the South of France. He was quickly caught up in the mysterious codex. It told the story of Dina, a Jewess woman abandoned by her family after being sexually assaulted by a priest. The fourteenth century Jewess woman left a memoir for her sons. She told of the inquisition and the pain of feeling separated from her family and her people.
Brigitte Goldstein takes three threads and weaves a fascinating tapestry. The ancient story of Dina is interwoven with the story of Henner and Nina. The descriptions were vivid. It was easy to see the jail cell, and the village seemed to come alive in my mind. While I enjoyed Nina's story and Henner's family history, it was Dina's story that made me keep turning pages. It was fascinating! Both Nina and Dina are very strong female characters. Goldstein is a talented author, and I will be watching for more of her work.