Josefina's Sin by Claudia H. Long
A Novel

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A thrilling and passionate debut about a sheltered landowner’s wife whose life is turned upside down when she visits the royal court in seventeenth-century Mexico.

When Josefina accepts an invitation from the Marquessa to come stay and socialize with the intellectual and cultural elite in her royal court, she is overwhelmed by the Court’s complicated world. She finds herself having to fight off aggressive advances from the Marquessa’s husband, but is ultimately unable to stay true to her marriage vows when she becomes involved in a secret affair with the local bishop that leaves her pregnant.

Amidst this drama, Josefina finds herself unexpectedly drawn to the intellectual nuns who study and write poetry at the risk of persecution by the Spanish Inquisition that is overtaking Mexico. One nun in particular, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, teaches Josefina about poetry, writing, critical thinking, the nature and consequences of love, and the threats of the Holy Office. She is Josefina’s mentor and lynchpin for her tumultuous passage from grounded wife and mother to woman of this treacherous, confusing, and ultimately physically and intellectually fulfilling world.

About Claudia H. Long

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Claudia H. Long is a practicing attorney in Northern California. She wrote her senior thesis at Harvard University on the feminism of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and revived her passion for Sor Juana when she wrote Josefina's Sin. She is the mother of two children, and lives with her husband.
Published August 9, 2011 by Atria Books. 352 pages
Genres: History, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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When Josefina, wife of prosperous landowner Manuel, is called to the court of the Marquesa and Marqués of Condera, the cream of Mexico’s colonial ruling class, at first she welcomes the chance to sate her intellectual curiosity in the Marquesa’s capacious library, studying with famed poetess-nun ...

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Josefina's Sin: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Offering an oblique but gripping portrait of the brilliant Sor Juana as both a mentor to Josefina and a subversive who dares challenge both court and church, this is a moving tale of women seeking to balance competing passions of the heart, body, and mind in the lavish setting of a 17th-century M...

May 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Josefina's Sin: A Novel

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