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Bestselling author Alice Hoffman tears a page from history and melds it with mysticism to create a spellbinding, highly acclaimed tale about the persecution of Jewish people during the sixteenth century.

Estrella is a Marrano: During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, she is one of a community of Spanish Jews living double lives as Catholics. And she is living in a house of secrets, raised by a family who practices underground the ancient and mysterious way of wisdom known as kabbalah. When Estrella discovers her family's true identity--and her family's secrets are made public--she confronts a world she's never imagined, where new love burns and where friendship ends in flame and ash, where trust is all but vanquished and betrayal has tragic and bitter consequences.

Winner of numerous "best book" citations and infused with the rich context of history and faith, Incantation is a transcendent journey of discovery and loss, rebirth and remembrance that Newbery Award-winning author Lois Lowry described as "Magical and spellbinding...Painful and exquisitely beautiful."

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 16, 2006 – As she did in The Foretelling, Hoffman offers another fascinating glimpse of a past civilization with reverberations for both past and present in this moving novel set during the Spanish Inquisition. The year is 1500 and, in the village of Encaleflora where 16-year-old narrator Estrella lives, Christian soldiers, "driven by bloodlust and evil," crusade against all forms of heresy. First, they burn books; next, they rob Jewish and Muslim families of their possessions, then torture or kill them. Readers familiar with Jewish traditions may guess what Estrella does not yet know about her family: that they are conversos, "new Christians," a community practicing the Jewish faith in secret. With expert pacing and lyrical prose, Hoffman lays out the clues that lead Estrella to self-discovery while also educating readers about the nuances of the times. Early signs point to the heroine's best friend Catalina's eventual betrayal of her (she invites Estrella over for a dinner of sausage, for instance), because she is jealous of the attentions Estrella receives from Catalina's cousin and fianc , Andres. During her darkest hours, after her grandfather, mother and brother are brutally murdered, Estrella still refuses to compromise her values or her devotion to Andres, who returns her love despite the dangers. Even secondary and tertiary characters emerge fully formed, while Estrella's spare, eloquent narrative evokes her sorrow and her determination to survive and never to forget the atrocities she has witnessed. "Even when I was an old woman,... older than the oldest raven in the sky, I'd remember everything I'd ever known and seen," she vows as she prepares an escape to Amsterdam. Ages 12-up.

Customer Reviews

Great book!

I really recommend it, especially of you like Spanish type books

View in iTunes
  • $8.99
  • Level: Grades 7-17
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Coming of Age
  • Published: Oct 01, 2007
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 176 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings