In the Last Blue by Carme Riera

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Synopsis

During the Spanish Inquisition on the island of Majorca, a small enclave of local Jews--all of whom have been baptized as Christians--determine to escape detention in the Inquisition by escaping to lands of freedom across the Atlantic. But weather frustrates their flight, and eventually thirty-seven of them were captured and condemned to burn at the stake in the Auto-de-Fe. In prose at once lyrical and suspenseful, Riera recreates the lives of Majorcan Jews in the seventeenth century--in a world of inquisitors, aristocrats, merchants, farmers, and soldiers--in a lush mosaic of history and period detail, religion and cultural lore. Already acclaimed around the world, In the Last Blue is at once a beautiful, poetic, riveting, and devastating tale of hope and fear.
 

About Carme Riera

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Carme Riera is a professor of Spanish Literature at Autonomous University of Barcelona.
 
Published January 1, 2007 by Overlook.. 384 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Bad weather intervenes, informers betray their neighbors and fugitives are arrested, detained at the Zola-esque Black House deep in the recesses of the Inquisitorial Palace—and interrogation and torture ensue, climaxing with a vengeful “purificatory fire.” (In a moving final paragraph comes the e...

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Publishers Weekly

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The Jewish Rafel's extreme, irrational violence is meant to foreshadow the irrationality that sends 37 members of the Majorcan Jewish community (including the Jewish Rafel) to the stake after they're captured in a botched emigration attempt.

Nov 27 2006 | Read Full Review of In the Last Blue

USA Today

Written by a professor of Spanish literature, In the Last Blue does an adequate job describing the various groups in conflict: the priests, the aristocrats, the informers, the government officials and the besieged, bewildered Jew who had been forced to convert to Catholicism.

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