Watermark: A Novel of the Middle Ages

Paperback | October 28, 2015

byVanitha Sankaran

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Watermark is a powerful novel about the destructive forces unleashed by ignorance and superstition.  Readers will care deeply for the courageous Auda.”
New York Times bestselling author Sharon Kay Penman<_o3a_p>

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Watermark is a magnificent debut by Vanitha Sankaran—an atmospheric and compelling novel about the search for identity, the power of self-expression, and value of the written word, set during the dark days of the Inquisition in Medieval France. Readers who were captivated by The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantrease or Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book will be enthralled by this thrilling journey to a colorful and dangerous past.<_o3a_p>

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From the Publisher

“Watermark is a powerful novel about the destructive forces unleashed by ignorance and superstition.  Readers will care deeply for the courageous Auda.”—New York Times bestselling author Sharon Kay Penman  Watermark is a magnificent debut by Vanitha Sankaran—an atmospheric and compelling novel about the search for identity, the power o...

From the Jacket

The daughter of a papermaker in a small French village in the year 1320—mute from birth and forced to shun normal society—young Auda finds solace and escape in the wonder of the written word. Believed to be cursed by those who embrace ignorance and superstition, Auda's very survival is a testament to the strength of her spirit. But thi...

Vanitha Sankaran holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University. Her stories have been published in various print and online journals. In addition, she is a founding editor for the literary journalflashquake. She is at work on her second novel, which is abo...

other books by Vanitha Sankaran

La hija del hereje
La hija del hereje

Kobo ebook|Oct 20 2015

$4.69 online$5.99list price(save 21%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8.1 × 5.38 × 0.9 inPublished:October 28, 2015Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061849278

ISBN - 13:9780061849275

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Customer Reviews of Watermark: A Novel of the Middle Ages

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay but not the best Story of mute female paper maker could be more captivating and is annoyingly apocryphal. But it is still entertaining and could pass for a good historical [at times]. However the 21st century feminism is a little misplaced as you can imagine.
Date published: 2013-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Watermark, Vanitha Sankaran What could life possibly be like for a young girl in the 1300’s born albino, and mute because she was butchered at birth? Watermark begins with this atrociously brutal episode and pulls you into the incredible world of Auda. Auda lived in Narbonne with her sister and father-tragically, her mother died giving birth to her. Her father, Martin, was a papermaker during a time of controversy where heretics were burned at the stake for writing and spreading falsities about religion and the Faith. The Inquisitor hunted down all those in any way related to the spreading of heresy...particularly through writings. Since the writing had to be done on some sort of paper or parchment, someone had to be providing this medium for the words and messages to be read...hence; a very troublesome time for Martin and his family. Auda astutely communicated through sign language and writing. Eschewing an arranged marriage by her sister, Auda gets recognition to work as a scribe for the Vicomtesse- but there is danger lurking everywhere; particularly where the Vicomte is concerned... As well, Auda needed to be covered at all times, not only because of her poor vision, but especially because of her looks- lest she would scare the ignorant, who passed her for a witch. Llife was incredibly difficult without her being able to communicate or show herself...How could she even contemplate love? And yet... Watermark takes a hard look at the reality of a woman born under incredible circumstances. The 1300’s was no place of mercy;but rather one of fear, treachery and religious turmoil- nothing pretty about this place and time, especially if you were different in any way. Still, Auda captured my heart with her brightness in all senses. Vanitha Sankaran is an excellent author. Her gentle description of Auda as splendidly magical helped to bring the character closer and more endearing. I was also fascinated by the whole papermaking process described perfectly. I had no idea of the depth of its importance and how crucial a ‘watermark’ could be. I would describe this book as splendid in its harsh reality- and utterly tender in its portrayal of beauty running deeper than its surface.
Date published: 2010-04-20

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Editorial Reviews

“Sankaran has created a likable, easy-to-root-for protagonist in Auda.”