An American historian’s search for her mythical birthplace leads her to an isolated mountaintop utopia and the passionate world of a medieval Jewess.
When Professor Henry “Henner” Marcus receives an urgent plea for help from his cousin and fellow historian Nina Aschauer, he abruptly leaves Chicago and travels to the South of France where Nina has suddenly rematerialized after having disappeared without a trace five years before.
While on sabbatical in Toulouse, France, Nina is compelled to search for the mythical place in the Pyrenean Mountains where she was born during her parents’ flight from Nazi persecution. All she knows is the name, but no “Valladine” can be found on any map. Her inquiries lead her to an encounter with Alphonse de Sola, a rough-hewn shepherd who offers to take her to the place. What she finds is love, a medieval outpost arrested in time, and a mysterious codex written in Hebrew letters that arouses her scholarly interest.
As Henner, Nina, and her best friend, Etoile Assous, conspire to decipher the writing, they enter the passionate world of a fourteenth-century Jewess, who calls herself Dina, whose family was forced to flee France following the expulsion of the Jews from the kingdom in 1306, while she herself had fallen victim to the sexual intrigues of a fiendish priest.