Bethany's Reviews > The Virgin Blue

The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
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's review
Jun 03, 2012

really liked it
Read in January, 2011

This historic mystery/adventure takes place in the south of France in present time, but the woman, Ella Turner is an American, and is living there because her husband is working in France. She begins search for her ancestors that will become a mystery and personal development. It gives insight into the lives of women in the sixteenth century, along with the historic glimpse into the Huguenots who rebelled against the Catholic Church of France. Thousands of Huguenots were slaughtered when they gathered for a royal wedding in 1572, Massacre of St. Bartholomew. then again in 1685 the Huguenots were dispersed across Europe by Louis XIV. This separation of the Catholic church ad to do with Martin Luther in Germany and John Calvin, one of his associates, who moved to Geneva, where he trained preachers in the "Truth".
There is love and mystery and a husband too busy with work to wonder or care what his wife is doing. Of her husband Ella says, "I felt us pulling apart into distinct entities with separate perspectives."
Ah, religion . . . it seems to grab and take hold and direct people's lives. For the second book now, I watch as women who show intelligence or strength are painted as evil and unnatural by the religious community. As Jean Paul says, "Religion has never completely destroyed superstition. Christianity was like a layer over the older beliefs-it covered them but they didn't disappear."

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