An American historian's search for her mythical birthplace leads her to a mountaintop utopia and the passionate world of a medieval Jewess.
Excerpt: Was it possible that Nina had uncovered a hitherto unknown primary source, a personal account mirroring the soul and time of a medieval Jewish woman? Things like that did happen on occasion ... I had to be skeptical. The sudden, almost miraculous, discovery of medieval manuscripts, especially of hitherto unknown authorship, had become all too frequent of late. Many were proven to be forgeries, some cleverly manufactured and not so easily exposed, while others, the majority, were easily detectable as modern productions.
Whatever warning signal the scholar in me was sending up, the human side of me was, as the saying goes, "hooked." I wanted to be part of the life of this Dina Miryam. Her story gripped me like a well-written suspense novel. Maybe I felt a bond with her because she was a Jewish woman, or in the more poetic—now archaic—term, a Jewess. I certainly wouldn't deny that possibility. In fact, I would assert it. Had I lived in her time in the kingdom of France, I would have shared the fate of her people. I too would have been expelled. I fancied myself that I would have protected her against the evil in the world.