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It the skillet Read the book to see how this small detail signifies something hugeLevy s love of Judaism is evident but her portrayal of the Catholic faith comes up short I wouldn t expect her to understand the nuances of both faiths To me both are founded on things that common sense or scientific observation could sweep aside Eg forbidding marshmallows because they contain a pork product where are the casualties and epidemics when someone eats pork Is there something in our DNA to make certain people unable to eat cheeseburgers without contaminating their souls while others live to be a hundred in spite of eating pork or beef from a cow that wasn t strangled the kosher way Billions of other people do and who s to say whose soul is jeopardized who is irreverent or disrespectful and who is pragmatic adapting to changing world situations whatever it takes to surviveIt is a testament to the author s story telling talent that she can write about people who drive me crazy but get me to care about them She also gets me to use willing suspension of disbelief especially with the idea that one woman could tell a story to her granddaughter who would in turn tell her granddaughter until 26 generations of this finally end in Mission Accomplished Satisfying gratifying lovely story mystical and magical in a way that reminds us what we call magic is often the sort of blessing that comes to those who believe As part of an urban renewal project some ears ago an old building that used to house our family s dry goods store was scheduled for demolition on Chicago s south side My sister was there and was able to recover a box of family photos found in the walls Inside were nineteenth century photos showing solemn people from my Catholic father s family wearing traditional flat black hats and clothing with embroidered Magen David Star of David for the men and matching jewellery on the womenWhile some of my relatives were surprised I never knew he was a deputy sheriff said one great aunt on seeing the six pointed star on one man s waistcoat several of my cousins and I thought it confirmed what we d long suspected and what some of our family traditions not to mention recipes like those triangle shaped cookies seemed to support One older relative told me that he didn t understand kosher laws but he just thought it was disgusting to serve milk with a meal that involved meatSo when I started to hear stories about families in the American Southwest who secretly practiced Jewish traditions for generations while publicly claiming to be Christian I was intrigued but not surprised In her new book By Light of Hidden Candles author Daniella Levy takes this one step further Using the device of an heirloom golden ring she tells a parallel tale of love religious devotion and a mystery that spans five hundred Women, Creativity, And The Arts yearsThe story starts with Miriam on her deathbed handing over a gold ring to her granddaughter along with the story of her rescue from the Inuisition by aoung member of the Spanish nobility She makes the Captive young girl promise to continue efforts to return the ring to its original owner even if it means handing it down to her own daughter along with the kebubah marriage contract from each generation of Miriam s descendantsMiriam s story continues interspersed with the contemporary stories told from the point of view of Alma aoung Orthodox Jewish woman living in New York and Manuel a student from Spain who is considering becoming a priest They meet when a curious Manuel stumbles into her family s Judaica store and again when they discover they will be starting the same program at NYU for those who want to research their family s roots in Spain Alma the latest recipient of Miriam s ring is seeking the descendants of the oung aristocrat who saved her ancestors from the Inuisition while Manuel wants to complete his dead father s dream of tracing their family rootsArriving in Spain the two are paired as research partners Together they investigate the mysteries of their family past while also fighting a mutual attraction which neither is prepared to acknowledge Alma educates the interested Manuel on the difficulties of keeping kosher while he provides a native s introduction to his home countryI particularly loved the bubbly funny directionally challenged Alma Although she has doubts about herself and her future she s secure in her own personal and religious identity The other main characters Miriam and Manuel weren t so well rounded to me In Miriam s case it was understandable She was very much the medieval Jewish girl completely a product of her time and place Her growing attraction to the oung Spanish nobleman who saved her and her father from the Inuisition was treated with a light touch realistically portrayed against the barriers of class culture and religion Manuel the potential priest with a supposed attraction to all things Jewish was a bit harder to get my head around The truth is it s really hard to be Jewish and there is almost no tradition of seeking converts In fact traditionally a rabbi who is approached by potential converts is reuired to make three attempts to discourage them I could see why Manuel might be interested in Alma but just had trouble buying his instinctive attraction for Jewish traditions and religionBut Alma and Manuel s joint searches through ancient records the excitement of their individual discoveries and the 500 ear old mystery slowly unravelled in Miriam s chapters are so much fun that I was able to overlook the pages of soul searching and angst It was fun to try to outguess the author and see where all three characters journeys were leading It was also fun to see so many of the traditions I m familiar with along with many I didn t know about I found the ending just a bit too pat although against the weight of a five hundred ear old secret it managed to feel almost inevitableI d recommend By Light of Hidden Candles to anyone who enjoys historical romances gentle mysteries and a realistic depiction of the challenges of conflicting religious beliefs At one point Alma thinks about her cousin David now missing from family celebrations because of his decision to marry a non Jew I imagined David holding Cathy s hand feeling free of the weight of all the generations that chained me I sympathised with her conflict even while cheering for the Bullfrog Grows Up young lovers And really who wouldn t love five hundredears of star crossed romance and a mystery to solve I received this book from the publisher or author to facilitate an honest review This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Nish archives will force them to confront the truth about who they are and what their faiths mean to themAt times humorous at times deeply moving this beautifully written and meticulously researched book will appeal to anyone interested in the history of Inuisition era Spain Sephardic Jews or falling in love.
Daniella Levy Ä 9 READ & DOWNLOAD
Ucial nature of learning their family s story The story of their ancestors Fans of TA Williams Chasing Shadows another time slip dual timeline romance will be happy to read this one Chasing Shadows brings two people together out of their mutual interest in the Middle Ages Light of Hidden Candles brings two people together out of their curiosity and their mutual interest in their ancestors history Both are must reads I received this book through NetGalley The Spanish Heritage Project Research The Legendary Unicorn your Family s Past with NYU Madrid This whole idea excited Alma whose Grandma had recently entrusted her with some family history information A ketuba is a Jewish marriage contract and Mimi had these for the women in her family dating back five hundredears Grandma also has a ring which has been passed down through the generations but which belongs to a family who helped this Sephardic family during the Spanish Inuisition And she wants it returned to one of their descendantsManuel s gentile family has also traced the history back to Spain in the 1500 s and is interested in the program because his father believed they were related to one of the old noble families of Castile Alma and Manuel embark on a study Meeting the Living God year in Spain to research their heritage overcoming obstacles and relentlessly pursuing their goals while the story of the 15th century families plays in the backgroundA most enjoyable read Genealogists will love it So willou The story is told from multiple points of view past and present a story very much about faith and religion and history Alma and Manuel meet in present day NYC and discover they are both students at NYU and as fate would have it they spend a semester in Madrid as part of a university project searching for their ancestors Manuel who was born in Spain is carrying on the work of his father to find out about his ancestors Alma a devout Jew is on a mission for her grandmother to find the ancestors of the person who was the rightful owner of a gold ring Along with Manuel who was raised a Catholic as I was I learned a good bit about Judaism the holidays the traditions The other narrator Miriam is from the past a time in Spain when Jews being expelled in the time of conversos as Jews were forced to convert in order to survive As in most of these pastpresent stories I liked the past story better There is a lot to like about the story It was in some ways a mini course in Judaism and some Spanish history The two love stories were lovely and I liked the characters Having said that I can t give it than three stars as the coincidences and predictably took away from the impact for me The characters discover what I presumed very early on so the ending although satisfying was very anticlimactic I received an advanced copy of this book from Kasva Press LLCIBPS through NetGalley I first found out about By Light of Hidden Candles by Daniella Levy when the author asked people to vote on cover candidates for this book on the Goodreads group Jewish Historical Fiction I voted for the cover that Levy decided to use So I recognized it when I saw it on Net Galley which is my source for this ARC By Light of Hidden Candles won t be published until October 2017We pretty much know where the 15th century Jewish charact 50 Shades of Scrupulosity I love itAlma and Manuel are college students in cell phone contemporary New York et they are so chaste and scrupulous they blush at the mere thought of a kiss He is a cradle Catholic considering the priesthood she like her ancestors would rather die than compromise her Jewish faith From the moment they meet these two are attracted and repelled forbidden to marry someone who d never convert so strong is the religion they were raised inEthics and theology comprise a surprising amount of the dialogue I love it More novels could explore the contrast in core values of the heroine and hero exchanging ideas instead of swapping bodily fluids I m mystified that 50 Shades of clinical sex and sado maso bondage BSM sells so well while thoughtful and meaningful discourse is left to collect dust on old shelvesIt s rare and refreshing to find a novel where 20 somethings love history and get excited by documents that are centuries old Genealogists will love thisInstead of dodging bullets and villains these two engage in research They drink coffee or not if the cream isn t kosher for Alma they tour historical sites during a semester abroad in Spain and they fight their ever growing but forbidden attraction to each otherThe narrative alternates between Miriam a Jewish teenager in 15th Century Spain Her mom has risked death and died rather than make a pretense of converting to Catholicism while practicing Judaism in secret An entire sect of Jews did in fact go that route posing as Catholics to avoid extermination or exile but many would die before they d live a lieMiriam follows her mother s example choosing exile and another great sacrifice as well rather than pretend to be Catholic Her integrity comes at great cost to others No spoiler from me but oy Much as I admire the Jewish people and love their wit humor and intellect there comes a point when so much scrupulosity just drives me crazy God is great but science is real and immediate to me Billions of people with different beliefs different traditions diets and habits share the same planet But I will save this rant some other time some other placeOthers have summarized the plot so I ll just highlight a few excerpts that make this novel so rich historic and satisfyingJudaism is the most obsessive compulsive religion on the planet says the heroine herself a devout Jew who practices kosher no matter how expensive challenging difficult or inconvenient But there is a sense of the divine in these rituals ou have to really know and think about where that food comes from before ou take a bite of literally anything A lot of these laws help us live consciously that wayWith religions with marriage with anything this is what defines us or distinguishes us It s the little things the routine things and I ve heard this from Catholics as well as our Jewish heroine It s something so deep so much a part of who I am I m not sure I can really put it into wordsI love the way Levy s narrative includes a mini history lesson of Spain Morocco Granada the Inuisition a people a time a culture Sephardi Jews are a small minority in the US and Moroccan Jews an ever smaller minority If one were really observant the Jews posing as Catholics would sometimes give themselves away One way is something as simple as breaking open eggs and inspecting them before they Spaniard whose beloved priest always warned him about getting too friendly with Jews As their uest takes them from Greenwich Village to the windswept mountain fortresses of southern Spain their friendship deepens and threatens to cross boundaries sacred to them both; and what they finally discover in the Spa.
In this story that weaves back and forth between the time of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain specifically when they expelled the Jews out of their combined kingdoms after letting the Inuisition go after them and anyone protecting them and the present day a Jewish girl and a Catholic boy meet at college and travel together to research family archives in SpainAlma is a devout Jew one of a large family that ranges from Orthodox to non practicing She is very close to her grandmother who has given her an antiue ring and told her a story that has been passed down from mother to daughter for twenty six generationManuel Aguilar has only his mother his father died when he was a boy and a priest became a father figure for him inspiring him toward seminary Manuel s mother is cagey about religion seeming interested in Judaism than in practicing her faith but she won t talk to Manuel about itThe two students are each determined to conduct their study without crossing any boundaries not only because their faiths forbid it but because everyone in their families is horrified and assumes they will end up involved with each other instead of their studiesThe story weaves back and forth between first person chapters with Alma and Manuel and Miriam a Jewish girl in the turbulent times before the expulsion We learn about conversos the Jews who to save their families pretended to convert but secretly practiced their religion as well as about laws and rules of modern day Judaism and to a certain extent Catholicism I don t think Levy really comprehends the complexity of devout Catholicism but she does a good job trying giving us a priest character who genuinely helps Manuel instead of the too often encountered sleazy priest of much modern fictionA great many of Manuel s and Alma s conversations and arguments are about faith and one can see the end coming long before the two make their discoveries but the research is solid and there are far too few novels out there that give us sincere oung people of faith I enjoyed it for that reason alone and found the engrossing historical chapters the frosting on the cakeCopy provided by NetGalley I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I hate to tell Nijinsky And Romola you this she said butou re already thereI blinked WhereThe point of no return You already think differently than Lindsay and the Lifeguards you used to about religion Even ifou decide to go ahead and become a priest after all it ll never be the same for The Wedding Ghost you as it was You already can t go back By reuest of her grandmother Alma travels to Madrid to research the history of her family From a family of Sephardic Jews treasured heirlooms have been passed down for generations One in particular has a mysterious tale one of rescue in a time of oppression hundreds ofears prior In the same research program Alma meets Manuel a Catholic Spaniard While both have ancestry from Spain Alma knows limited Spanish Manuel being fluent in the language agrees to become her research partner to aid in translations However their religious differences cause some issues along the way straining the budding friendship and possible romancePerhaps their differences are just too great until they discover some unbelievable information about their families history that could change the future they assumed for one another I don t know about The Value of Optimism you but I enjoy reading a variety of books While this falls into my typical Historical Fiction genre it still has elements within it that I don t typically come across in other reads at least that I ve read so far Things I liked 1 The way the historical story is tied into the present While I won t say how this is accomplished for spoiler purposes I really appreciated how four very different stories were all interwoven in the end It was a bit predictable However I appreciated the thought process getting from Point A to Point B 2 The diversity in this story makes it all the engaging While I don t identify with the main religion being represented that didn t matter I found it to be rather insightful in not only different religions but different cultures as well Things I didn t like 1 For someone as pious as Alma I absolutely irked me how many times she would take the Lord s name in vain For someone who follows the rules this is one not to be forgotten 2 As many religiously inspired fiction books go this one is trying to sway the reader into converting religions Unlike some readers I did mind that However there was very little justification to back up why conversion should take place I felt that Alma would say Heyou should convert to Judaism et give little reason as to why other than heritage view spoilerThen Manuel s like Hmm okay Yeah Sure hide spoiler I have always been fascinated with historical fictionthriller stories Anything with a historical background or story that transports me back to the past as far back as the age of the cavemen is surely going to end up in my TBR This book is one Even so because it talks about faith Jewish faith Judaism I am not Jewish but this story had me reeling because it hits my weakness I love stories about conspiracies or theories or just about anything about faith religion and artifacts This story just had a mix of all thatThis is my first time to read a book by this author and I am happy to admit that it was not a wasted effort This book transported me to Spain the modern and the old one It brought me as far back as the time of the Spanish Inuisition The time when Jews were exiled and persecuted by the Spanish authorities This story One of the things that has always been most troubling about the Jewish faith to Jews and non Jews alike has been this concept of The Chosen People Its not something often talked about or we One of the best love stories I ve ever readThis book clearly had substance as do all books which revolve around faith or history I enjoyed every moment the witty dialogue the intellectual discussions and just all the learning I had obviously underestimated Judaism in regard to its rituals and celebrations it s undoubtedly the single most complicated religionIt was the reason I felt compelled to give it a read that and it sounded like a brilliant love story I was not wrong it was every bit a brilliant love story that and The historical context was not lost on me also Rather it helped the reader understand determination in faith and even one s refusal to break away from faith when it s so very integral to one s being and one s values I also welcomed the main characters Alma and Manuel s love for history its preservation and their appreciation of the cr. In a mud hut in the Jewish uarter of 16th century Fez a dying woman hands her granddaughter a heavy gold ring and an even heavier secretFive hundred ears later Alma Ben Ami journeys to Madrid to fulfill her ancestor's dying wish She has recruited an unlikely research partner Manuel Aguilar a oung Catholic.
pdf read By Light of Hidden Candles Author Daniella Levy – freewebdesing.com