Saturday, September 05, 2009


Incantation by Alice Hoffman

I read Incantation while on the train yesterday. It was a quick read, but a good one. The novel is written for a young adult audience, but I think it will appeal to adults, particularly those who enjoy historical fiction. I've passed on my copy to my mom.

Set during the Spanish Inquisition, Incantation is the story of a teenage girl whose family is denounced as crypto-Jews. It is a multifaceted coming-of-age story: protagonist and narrator Estrella (Ester) is simultaneously becoming an adult (learning the ways of the world) and learning the secret of who she and her really are. While the story is very much situated within its historical milieu, it touches on universal themes like love and hatred, loyalty and betrayal, courage and trust, the nature of evil and jealousy, and the importance of memory and of hope.

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