Cecilia tells the story of a young girl's search to define herself in a world rife with social upheaval, religious conflict, and deep foreboding. Cecilia, born into a noble Roman family in the second century A.D., is fifteen years old. She is seeking knowledge with the urgency and awkwardness typical of her age. But in a society that leaves little room for women to discover their aptitudes, limits, and persuasions, Cecilia must approach this knowledge through her friends and familiars, through a constant and at times painful confrontation with the world around her. She is grasping for light in an age of darkness, but it is only when she embraces the doctrines of a new sect, Christianity, whose followers are growing in number among the poor and the enslaved, that the light she has been longing for is revealed.
Cecilia is both a product of her times and a young woman at odds with her surroundings. In Linda Ferri's elegant prose, Cecilia tells the story of a soul's progress. It recounts an enthralling journey from a restless and searching child to a woman endowed with the strength to risk her own death in defense of her beliefs.