The first 30 pages or so are a little slow, but it is definitely worth continuing on. A piece of historical fiction thick enough to be satisfying, giving us an uncommon glimpse of Spain during the late 1400's, early 1500's, at the time of the inquisition, from the viewpoint of a Jew caught up in the machinations of politics and religion when just a young boy.
Historical fiction taking place in 1490's to early 1500's during the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Many converted to Catholicism rather than leave, but many who converted (conversos) were later hunted down by the Inquisition, persecuted and burned at the stake. This is the story of Yonah Toledano, teenage son of a master silversmith who is separated from his family during their hasty flight from their home. His father is killed, his younger brother, aunt and uncle flee to who knows where, and Yonah finds himself totally alone, to the point where he feels like the last Jew in Spain. As he wanders from town to town, farm to farm, working manual labor jobs and staying in each place for only a few seasons (occasionally a few years until trouble managed to find him again) and eventually apprenticing himself to a physician in Saragossa, pretending outwardly to be Christian but inside still trying to stay true to the memory of his father and remain a Jew, Yonah meets many fascinating people and has many adventures. Absolutely wonderful story--a bit wandering at times, but very atmospheric and moving.
The first 50 pages were slow but after it picked up I really enjoyed it. Noah Gordon writes fabulous stories about medievel medicine and paints a colorful picture of the time period. I recommend this book