Blood Rose Angel

Written by Liza Perrat
Review by Richard Tearle

Heloise is the midwife in a small mid-14th century French town, an occupation she inherited from her late mother and aunt, who lives with her and her family, husband Raoul and daughter Morgane. But she is bastard born and does not know her father and, with the strange pendant that she wears round her neck, many people of the town think she is a witch. She has many friends, but just as many enemies, especially one. Plague strikes, and as a healer she is called to tend the sick but is forbidden by her husband. She tries to comply but cannot; the couple separates, and Raoul has her thrown in jail, which is when Heloise’s troubles really start.

This powerful novel sensitively studies midwifery in those times, and the devastating effect that the plague could have—not just in taking the lives of loved ones but also in changing the personalities of those who survive or who have not yet succumbed.