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Auda's mother died to save her life. Midwives weren't allowed to cut mothers during childbirth to save the babies unless the mother was already dead. Auda's mother insisted on the midwife cutting Auda out to save her baby's life knowing that she would die. But when Auda was born she was pale white with white hair, an albino. The midwife's apprentice thought that Auda was a witch, so the apprentice ran to the river with her and cut the baby's tongue out so she couldn't spread the "devil's lies". So Auda is condemned to a life as a mute and shunned by society because of her hair and skin color. Auda's father is a papermaker in a small French village in the 1300's who teaches her to read and write. But then the Church starts prosecuting heretics, and they take Auda's father, blaming him for something Auda had written. Read to see if she can save her family, discover true love and find a place to belong.

I really enjoyed this book. I like how the author brought different historical parts of the Middle Ages into the story, such as the heretics and gypsies being feared by most, and how the Church attacked those who were different. The author brought the novel to life with her vivid descriptions. If you enjoy historical novels, books about outcasts, or just good stories, this is a great book to read.

Book Blurb for Watermark

The daughter of a papermaker in a small French village in the year 1320—mute from birth and forced to shun normal society—young Auda finds solace and escape in the wonder of the written word. Believed to be cursed by those who embrace ignorance and superstition, Auda's very survival is a testament to the strength of her spirit. But this is an age of Inquisition and intolerance, when difference and defiance are punishable "sins" and new ideas are considered damnable heresy. When darkness descends upon her world, Auda—newly grown to womanhood—is forced to flee, setting off on a remarkable quest to discover love and a new sense of self . . . and to reclaim her heritage and the small glory of her father's art. 

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2010 4.00