The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
This novel tells the story of two women, Isabelle and Ella, that share blood line but live centuries apart. Ella recently moved to France from the USA, following her husband who was relocated for his job. Knowing that she has French lineage, she wants to learn more about her past. A slightly grumpy though helpful librarian Jean-Paul assists Ella and Ella feels the lure of her French friend. Many years ago, Isabelle married someone not for love because the villagers called her La Rouse based on her red hair. They think that she's a witch of some sort. Her husband's family doesn't approve but has no choice to relent because Isabelle is pregnant. The family is chased out of their home and Isabelle's light becomes tough while she deals with a new village and an abusive husband.
I have read a few Chevalier novels before but hadn't read one for a few years. I'm happy to get back to her because I get completely wrapped up in her story telling. This story was more depressing than the others that I have read of hers but that didn't bother me.
There were some issues at the end where what the characters were doing didn't make too much sense to me based on what I had come to know about them. Despite this, I still enjoyed this novel and I'm looking forward to reading some of Chevalier's other works.
First Line: "She was called Isabelle, and when she was a small girl her hair changed colour in the time it takes a bird to call to its mate."