The whispering swirled about Lidoire
But nothing reached her father's ears;
For none would risk his wrath to tell
Come true had one of his greatest fears
One autumn in medieval Provence, a nobleman's only daughter finds herself mysteriously pregnant. The girl, Lidoire, has never lain with a man and wonders if she, like the Virgin Mary, has conceived immaculately.
Years earlier, her father betrothed her to the powerful prince of Navarre; through the marriage, he hopes to further his own ambitions. In her father's castle, Lidoire fearfully watches her belly grow until Moreau - her father's vintner, a man who's always been like a loving uncle - comes to her. He offers to hide her in a wilderness hermitage through the winter, so she might return in the spring with the baby. The sight of his beloved daughter returned with his grandchild on her breast, Moreau hopes, will abate the sure to be terrible anger of Lidoire's father.
But Moreau's plans are more than what they seem, and in the wilderness Lidoire makes a decision that will reveal the shocking truth of her pregnancy, a decision whose repercussions will be felt from the idyllic, sun-drenched vineyards of southern France to the bloody battlefield outside the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Set in the time of the First Crusade (1096-1099), The Ballad of St. Lidoire is a tale of love and betrayal, the vicissitudes of time, and the messy way in which saints are sometimes created.
©2015 Robert Gardner (P)2016 Robert Gardner