Thursday, February 01, 2007

Incantation by Alice Hoffman

At the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition, many Jews converted to Christianity rather than flee their homes or be killed. Often they only presented the appearance of Christians, continuing to practice the Jewish Faith in the privacy of their own homes. Now these pretend Christians known as Marrano's or Pigs are being arrested, burned and once again fleeing. Estrella, a young teen had no idea she was of such a family or that her grandfather's secret room in the basement held many illicit materials. Her friend Catalina and she have been drifting apart as they grow, love of the same boy is only part of the reason. Catalina, angry with Estrella again, betray's her family to authorities. She has seen the list of clues to watch for to catch the Marrano's. Estrella's family fits. Estrella discovers that she and her faimily are not what she long thought herself, brother (a seminary student), grandparents and mother to be and suffers terribly from the betrayal. A haunting, painful look at a dark moment in history. Very short and easy to read at just 165 pages.

No comments: