The Last Jew: A Novel of The Spanish Inquisition

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In the year 1492, the Inquisition has all of Spain in its grip. After centuries of pogrom-like riots encouraged by the Church, the Jews - who have been an important part of Spanish life since the days of the Romans - are expelled from the country by royal edict. Many who wish to remain are intimidated by Church and Crown and become Catholics, but several hundred thousand choose to retain their religion and depart; given little time to flee, some perish even before they can escape from Spain.

Yonah Toledano, the 15-year-old son of a celebrated Spanish silversmith, has seen his father and brother die during these terrible days - victims whose murders go almost unnoticed in a time of mass upheaval. Trapped in Spain by circumstances, he is determined to honor the memory of his family by remaining a Jew.

On a donkey named Moise, Yonah begins a meandering journey, a young fugitive zigzagging across the vastness of Spain. Toiling at manual labor, he desperately tries to cling to his memories of a vanished culture. As a lonely shepherd on a mountaintop he hurls snatches of almost forgotten Hebrew at the stars, as an apprentice armorer he learns to fight like a Christian knight. Finally, as a man living in a time and land where danger from the Inquisition is everywhere, he deals with the questions that mark his past. How he discovers the answers, how he finds his way to a singular and strong Marrano woman, how he achieves a life with the outer persona of a respected Old Christian physician and the inner life of a secret Jew, is the fabric of this novel. The Last Jew is a glimpse of the past, an authentic tale of high adventure, and a tender and unforgettable love story. In it, Noah Gordon utilizes his greatest strengths, and the result is remarkable and moving.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Macmillan
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Published on
Mar 25, 2014
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781466866737
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / Renaissance
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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How Far Would You Go To Stay True to Yourself?

Spain, 1492. On the eve of the Jewish expulsion from Spain, Amalia Riba stands at a crossroads. In a country violently divided by religion, she must either convert to Christianity and stay safe, or remain a Jew and risk everything.

It's a choice she's been walking toward her whole life, from the days of her youth when her family lit the Shabbat candles in secret. Back then, she saw the vast possibility of the world, outlined in the beautiful pen and ink maps her father created. But the world has shifted and contracted since then.

The Mapmaker's Daughter is a stirring novel about identity, exile, and what it means to be home.

"A close look at the great costs and greater rewards of being true to who you really are. A lyrical journey to the time when the Jews of Spain were faced with the wrenching choice of deciding their future as Jews—a pivotal period of history and inspiration today."—Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I

"The many twists and turns in the life of the mapmaker's daughter, Amalia, mirror the tenuous and harrowing journey of the Jewish community in fifteenth-century Iberia, showing how family and faith overcame even the worst the Inquisition could inflict on them."—Anne Easter Smith, author of Royal Mistress and A Rose for the Crown

"A powerful love story ignites these pages, making the reader yearn for more as they come to know Amalia and Jamil, two of the most compelling characters in recent historical fiction. An absolute must-read!"—Michelle Moran, author of The Second Empress and Madam Tussaud

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