Great historical fiction with the Spanish Inquisition for the setting. Alice Hoffman, although writing primarily for a young adult audience, weaves another lyrical story that is so beautiful and moving.
Wow! What a powerful book!! It was a bit hard to get into, but overall I loved the book. Hoffman's writing is well done. Quotes, Questions & Commentsp. 11 [Estrella compares a violent scene at the plaza to a monster] Something from deep inside the world had crept up from the well; a monster set loose in our midst. The fire was his breath; the jeers all around were his snarls. I felt something burn inside of me.-The monster comparison is wonderful. Hoffman continues the metaphor throughout the book which makes it that much better.p. 32-33 My mother taught me so much as we walked through the hills and then as we talked late at night. But most important of all, she explained that it was all right to say No. I Disagree. That was a gift. I understood it was power. The power to think my own thoughts. The power to believe in myself.-What an awesome gift. I think it is wonderful that Estrella realizes she is given a gift. Hoffman writes this piece so eloquently!-Have any of your mothers given you gift like that? Anyone else? What have you done with it? Did you realize it?p.114 [Estrella's confession to Andres] Maybe I'm not even who I thought I was, I said. You can be anything at all and it won't matter to me. How many men had said that to how many women in this world? How many girls had believed such things, only to be left waiting in a doorway? But sometimes a hawk is a hawk and a dove is a dove and a nightingale is a bird that sings until morning. I decided to trust him. You won't change your mind? I said. He laughed and said, Will you? Let me tell you who I really am, I began. You don't have to. I know you. I know your heart. That's the only thing that will ever matter to me. I told him anyway. Even though it was dangerous, even though I knew I must never tell. When I was done, he kissed me. So I gave him my promise, and he did the same, just like that. No matter who we might be in the eyes of anyone else, we belonged to each other.-I found this section sooo romantic!p.147 I wished that we lived in another time, another country. But maybe that wouldn't have mattered. There comes a time when everyone of our people understands that a Jew can never be attached to a place. The rules always change, and we always lose. People will always despise us, and we must be ready to fly away. We cannot have roots in the earth of any country, only in the garden that we carry inside us.-This quote is true for Jews today, as much as it was when it "was said." The foreshadowing for this people is so sad....Continua