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Archive for July, 2020


Irish Travis
Jul 09, 2020 Irish Travis rated it 5 stars on Goodreads

This book was an amazing read. I learned so much – which is what I love about good historical fiction. There were so many times in this book that I thought to myself, “so that’s why we do that” (in terms of Jewish traditions). I did find myself wondering if a non-historical reader would have difficulty understanding it.

One thing that engaging historical fiction can do is challenge our perceptions and lead us to learn more. Due to my upbringing and the Jewish literature I read, I tend to always assume overt poverty and/or persecution of Jews, particularly in Medieval periods. I found myself wanting to learn more about this section of Jewish history. Too often I get so wrapped up in the trauma of the Inquisition that I miss a very rich and interesting history. It also made me want to read more of Gross’ work, though I think I’m going to need some help with that! I’m not a Torah scholar by any stretch of the imagination but I thought the discussion of the Talmud and Torah rang true and raised interesting points. When I think about other historical fictions that I’ve enjoyed, they’ve often been ones with well rounded characters who increase my desire to learn more about a time period.

Like all his books, this one takes a few pages before it draws you in, but once it does, it is a very interesting and moving read.

I highly recommend it.

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