by Alice Hoffman
Availability: Ships within 1 week
Format: Hard Cover
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. Like-new book. Appears unread. NO remainder marks or price clippings. Number line: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Tight spine, bright pages. 166 pages. NO writing, marks or tears inside book. The opposing forces of love and hate, loyalty and betrayal underscore this brief but rich tale set during the Spanish Inquisition. Told by 16-year-old Estrella deMadrigal, the novel shows how gruesome beliefs nourished by ignorance and prejudice destroyed the lives of countless people. Hoffman weaves a tale of a close friendship between two teens, Estrella and Catalina. Both envision that their lives will be intertwined forever. However, there is a secret about Estrella and her family that unfolds in spurts. The deMadrigals are Jews who follow their religion in secret, appearing to the world as good Catholics in order to escape persecution. Hoffman, a master storyteller, has captured this harsh time and the fragile lives of the hidden Jews. On one level this is the story of a friendship and the deadly interference of jealousy. It is also a story of the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit. Estrella develops incredible strength as she tries to save herself and her grandmother. Ultimately, it is the love of a Christian, Catalina's cousin Andres, that saves her. Hoffman's lyrical prose and astute characterization blend to create a riveting, horrific tale that unites despair with elements of hope. Good companion selections include Waldtraut Lewin's Freedom beyond the Sea (Delacorte, 2001) and Kathryn Lasky's Blood Secret (HarperCollins, 2004). Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.