The synopsis of this book intrigued from the first time I read it. What must a woman be concealing to live for so long as a mute man? How in heaven’s name does she get away with it for so long? It piqued my curiosity; so many questions – what were the answers?
Mear is the narrator of the tale and it begins in great tragedy with a fire that kills four young men of the village. But the fire seems to be more than an accident. Why did someone want to kill their boys? It was a time of great resentment against the Jews so the immediate response is to blame them despite there being no evidence. Superstition was a powerful force in medieval times. The men of the village decide to take the bodies of their boys on the road to get justice. I have to admit that I didn’t understand this motivation plot point. Trying to do so just caused me all kinds of brain twists so I just went with the flow. Once I did it was easier to read the story.
Easier on one level anyway – there is a fair amount of violence in the book, particularly against Mear. It was honestly, a bit excessive at times. It was this that lowered the rating for me. The overall story was very compelling and full of twists and turns. It was a dark time in history for many reasons. Mr. Hayes portrays the period very well and I was carried along in his tale of love and power.