A Veil of Memories by Marcia Fine
Officials in Mexico City search and burn every soul not devoted to the Church. A
family matriarch is arrested with her granddaughter as a witness. Celendaria, on
the verge of becoming a woman, is also under suspicion for heresy.
Although the family has been converted to Catholicism, they still practice rituals
and traditions of Judaism in secret. Customs give many away. In a hostile
environment a perilous adventure story emerges to shine a bright light on the
Crespin family. Will they survive when most of the Americas are ruled by Spain?
Not unlike many immigrant journeys today, religion becomes an issue for those
Based on transcripts during the Inquisition, the book utilizes actual people as well
as facts, culinary customs and research from the Southwest Territories. It reveals
one of the most obscure and dramatic episodes in Mexican and Jewish history. A
great read for history buffs, curiosity seekers and those searching their past for
From the Author…
“I have written this novel to show the depth and breadth of the Inquisition in the Americas. Many of the characters are real like Hernando Alonso, who was the first Jew to arrive in Mexico with Hernán Cortez in 1521; Tomas Trevino de Sobremonte, who was the only one burned alive in the auto-de-fé of 1649 who refused to reconcile with the church, and the Inquisitor Dr. Juan Saenz de Mañzoca, a very cruel man. Others are the ordinary people who survived under difficult circumstances. I want to tell their story.” – Marcia Fine
A few words…
“Hard decisions–between fleeing and waiting out dangers, between confessing and remaining stoic–are expertly plotted, and “right” decisions remain ever elusive. The jealous avarice and perspicacity of Church authorities is an ever-present factor in the text, and is rendered with quiet skill. Villains may drive the story, but they are not allowed to own it–“history will judge you [and] your lack of empathy….God will judge you,” a resigned Clara tells the Inquisitors–and there is power in that narrative choice.
Reviewed by Michelle Anne Schingler, Forward Reviews – Five Stars
“Fine is a serious scholar of the persecution of Sephardic Jews, and the details in this book are impressive and edifying.” Kirkus Reviews
2017 New Release – On Sale Now