I haven’t read the previous books but this works well as a stand-alone. I don’t think I’ve read anything set during the Black Death from the common people’s point of view so this was a change for me.
You can see how much superstitions affects everyday life, especially when something bad happens. Makes people accuse everyone from Jews to lepers and cats. How important midwives were to women during the dangerous time of childbirth, and yet how easy it was to accuse them of witchcraft, curses and heresy. Definitely not a safe occupation…
Héloïse can’t turn her back to the people affected by the plague but her husband doesn’t approve her work. I’m trying not to give anything away but I think he went way too far trying to prevent her from helping and I hoped Héloïse wouldn’t have forgiven him. I liked Raoul before that but after that I just couldn’t but hate him. Not an easy time to be a woman for sure.
I liked Héloïse who was strong and kind even after all the hate she’s gotten from the villagers. She didn’t give up trying to find a solution to defeat the plague.