Saturday, October 14, 2006

Incantation by Alice Hoffman

Estrella deMadrigal was confident in who she was and her place in the world. She was a good Christian girl; a daughter, a best friend, a sister, a granddaughter. When Jews are persecuted for their beliefs, though, Estrella's world is changed. She learns that her family are the worst criminals in Spain in the year 1500: marranos, Jews who only pretended to convert to Christianity. When she learns of her true identity, everything changes. Even through all of that, though, Estrella -- or Esther-- is still going through the normal process of growing up and falling in love. In a time when she has to fight every day to even live to the next morning, Estrella is falling in love.

Incantation is a fantastic story. It's a very well-written novel about an interesting time in history. The characters are all very believable as well. Estrella seems very real, and her story captured my attention from the first page, and held it until the end. I didn't want this book to be over, but, at the same time, I raced through it, anxious to find out what would happen next! It's a short, quick read, but Alice Hoffman manages to tell a beautiful, sad, and amazing story in fewer pages than some authors take to write a not so great story. This is a wonderful book that everyone should read!

Content:Violence, death, very sad book about a sad time in history, but not particularly graphic.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10
Reviewer Age: 15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Asheville, North Carolina USA