"Hidden Ones - A Veil of Memories," a perilous adventure story from the 17th century when most of the Americas were ruled by Spain, is this month's selection for Midbar Kodesh Temple's book club scheduled at the synagogue on Sunday, October 21 at 10:00 a.m. Earlier this month author Marcia Fine was a guest at the synagogue and shared some insight into her novels and writing experiences and spoke about this award winning book, published in 2017.
According to the review by "Serious Reading" the book explores the lengths the Crespin family must go to evade religious persecution for secretly practicing Judaism during the Mexican Inquisition. The novel, based on an actual case, tells how the family risked discovery, imprisonment and even death while helping their grandmother, the beloved matriarch of the family, escape from prison. The "Serious Reading" review said that Ms. Fine, brought to Midbar Kodesh Temple by a generous gift from the Pariser Family, felt this to be a relevant topic since today’s citizens of the Southwest are linked to this piece of history. Fine explained that “when the Inquisition expanded to open offices to the Peruvian City of Lima, Mexico City and Cartegena, Columbia, fear spread through all the areas controlled by Spain. That included almost half of North America. Many traveled north into the Southwest Territories to escape. Today, many are discovering their heritage in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado through DNA and genealogy.” It also echoes some of the immigrant journeys today.
The novel begins in Mexico City with the aftermath of an auto-de-fé, An Act of Faith, in 1649. In preparing to write the novel Fine interviewed a professor who is an expert on the topic. The professor was able to help her unveil intricacies such as what the inquisitors ate for breakfast and a detailed description of the Grand Inquisitor. Fine also traveled to the novel’s setting to immerse herself in the smells, sounds and tastes of their culture. The review shares how the author integrates her research and personal experiences into the pages of her book so while it is historically accurate and authentic, the story also comes alive for the reader providing an unforgettable journey into the past.
Award winning author Marcia Fine grew up in South Florida in the 1960s, the daughter of Bohemian parents. A former English teacher, entrepreneur and speaker she has written the only satirical series about Scottsdale. As a ONEBOOKAZ 2015 winner for her novel, "The Blind Eye - A Sephardic Journey," she has traveled Arizona speaking at libraries. Her book about her personal family history, "Paper Children - An Immigrant's Legacy," has been a finalist for three national awards. "Paris Lamb," a treatise on biblical archaeology, suspense and romance, explores a revealed family secret that changed lives and won First Prize from the Arizona Author's Association.
For more information about Midbar's monthly book club, facilitated by chairperson Ileen Spoor, and open free of charge to the public, contact the Midbar Kodesh Temple at 702.454.4848.