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The Spanish Inquisition is in full force, with life becoming more difficult for those not of the Catholic faith. Basseva, her sister, father, and the rest of her loved ones are a proud Jewish family, trying their best to live their life and hold on to their faith. Everything is going well until the Edict of Expulsion was signed into law.

Expulsion: A Novel of the Spanish Inquisition tells the tale of a Jewish family who grapple with converting to Catholicism. They are initially resistant, but when a loved one’s life is at risk, what choice do you have?

Author Sherry V. Ostroff has delivered a gut-wrenching look into the horrors that took place during the Spanish Inquisition. While this is a mostly fictional account, the author gives readers a peak into this turbulent moment in history. By focusing on Basseva and her immediate family, rather than the historical event, readers get an intimate look at what it may have been like for those actually experiencing such tragedy.

The novel starts with the mention of a woman’s scream, so you are on the edge of your seat from the very beginning. When the story shifts into what seems more like a domestic tale, it feels like the worst is over. By focusing on Basseva’s upcoming wedding to Samuel and the rest of her family, the reader is lulled into a sense of relief, until Basseva is taken by the Inquisition. This reveals a larger plot that had been brewing behind the scenes all along.

Expulsion: A Novel of the Spanish Inquisition is a riveting period piece that details the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition through a personal lens. If you’re a reader who enjoys well researched historical fiction novels then you’ll certainly enjoy Sherry V. Ostroff’s novel. But even if historical fiction isn’t your forte, you’ll easily find yourself drawn in by the compelling characters and their emotionally-resonant journeys. Expulsion is a spellbinding and sophisticated novel that is emotional, dramatic, and entertaining.

Pages: 273 | ASIN: B0B4VKPR8P

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Daria’s Secrets

Daria’s Secrets by Jeff Ingber tells the story of Daria Abramson, a young girl living a carefree life in Kalisz, Poland, until the war broke out. Then, one summer day, they were all marched out of the ghetto, and she was forcefully separated from her family and taken as a seamstress. Later, she would find out that her loving parents and sister were taken to Chelmno, a killing camp. Now, nearly half a century later, Daria is experiencing nightmares from her past and is trying to heal from the past traumas. Hence, she goes to see doctor Metzger, a therapist who guides her toward healing her past and making a beautiful life for herself. Alongside Metzger, Daria is loved and supported by her daughter Karen, her best friend Ruth, and the visions of Peter, her dead husband, and Chaim Rumkowski, someone who history and Daria remember very differently.

Ingber writes in an effortlessly beautiful tone with vivid imagery and creates details that lead the reader on a remarkable emotional and visual journey. As we travel throughout the pages of this book, it feels like we are embodying Daria and feeling everything she is feeling. Ingber manages to keep his narrative straightforward while filled with the most beautiful stylistic figures in a way that touches and lures the reader in and leaves us wanting more.

I am pleasantly surprised by Ingber’s approach to writing and his character development. Daria is written so beautifully that you can’t help but empathize with her and want to give her all your love and support even though she is a fictional character. She has the innocence and courage of the young girl forced to survive in the most inhuman conditions in Poland while also having the knowledge and heart of a lady who has lived a long life filled with both joy and sadness, success and downfalls, and love and loss.

In addition, the psychology behind Metzger’s question and every answer Daria gives, including her frows, begs, and smiles, are crafted so perfectly that anyone can sympathize with it. This is a captivating read, especially for those interested in Psychology.

Daria’s Secrets by Jeff Ingber is a lovely work of fiction that depicts the lives of many victims and survivors of any war, which is, sadly, still relevant today. This book will have you on your toes and reaching for the tissues from its first to its final page. 

Pages: 232 | ISBN : 163988341X

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The Heritage

The Heritage is a historical Jewish Fictional novel initially published in Spanish by Jack Michonik and titled “la descendencia.” It was translated into English by Michael B Miller.

Between the two World Wars, the majority of Jewish descent fled Europe in search of safety and stability for their families; this book chronicles their experiences. This interesting story begins with a young man named Leib Edri and how he is responsible for his family after his father’s death. The difficulties in leaving the country to establish a new life while providing assistance to his family from afar are numerous. The mental toll weighs heavily on Leib.

Leib begins his voyage by leaving his hometown of Golochov, where he had lived for 15 years. He knew he would most likely never return to the place he knew as home. It is here where he made his first friends and one of his lifelong pen pals, Berl. The author provides a stirring narrative to convey the suffering that one endures when they must leave all that they know in order to simply survive.

The journey to the new world is educational for Leib. He encounters people from drastically different lifestyles and cultures, learning a lot about life outside of Golochov. Readers will experience the hardships of attempting to establish a new life in a new city through the authors candid portrayal. Thoughtful attention has been given to describe the emotions of those who fled the nation for safety during the wars and how they struggled thinking about the ones who remained back home.

The Heritage by Jack Michonik is a riveting historical fiction novel that will appeal to readers interested in Jewish culture. The journey that Leib takes from Golochov to South America will leave readers with a greater understanding of what it is like to have to do whatever it takes to survive.

Pages: 432 | ASIN : B07ZC9NKWD

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