Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review: Incantation by Alice Hoffman

Incantation by Alice Hoffman
Release Date:
October 1st 2007
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult – Historical Fiction
Source: My Collection
Author: Website | Facebook | Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | The Book Depository
Add it: Goodreads

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.

Infused with the rich context of history and faith, in her most profoundly moving work to date, Alice Hoffman's first historical novel is a transcendent journey of discovery and loss, rebirth and remembrance.

Incantation is a really tragic story set in Spain in the 1500s during the Inquisition. This story follows around Estrella who is a typical teenage girl of that time. She has a respected family and her best friend lives next door. The day the books were burned was the day that Estrella’s life began to change. The book is separated into three sections.

Estrella is a Spanish Jew. I didn’t know this going into the book because I didn’t read the synopsis, so that was actually a surprise to me. In Estrella’s town, being a Jew can get you killed, whether you really are one or not. Her family is one of the few that are living double lives as Catholics. Estrella slowly starts to learn who she really is and who her real friends are.

I will admit that I bought this book because its length, its cover, and the fact that it was on sale for a dollar. I am not sure when I would’ve gotten to it but I needed a short easy read for a read-a-thon I was participating in and I’m so glad I chose this book. Even though this is technically a young adult book, I would recommend it to everyone. This story has murder, love, and betrayal and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

Even though it is a really short book and it is pretty light on the plot it still packs in a lot in the few pages. There is not a ton of character development but there was just enough description in the characters that you still care about them. This book also has a different writing style, Italics are used instead of quotation marks for the conversations. I thought this might take some getting used to but I had no problem with it at all.

I definitely recommend this book for everyone but if you enjoy historical fiction then you should definitely pick this up.

My Rating:

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