The Ghost of Hannah Mendes by Naomi Ragen

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Synopsis

When Catherine da Costa, a wealthy Manhattan matron, learns she has only a short time to live, she realizes that her family tree will die unless she passes on its legacy and traditions to her granddaughters. But Suzanne and Francesca, beautiful young women caught up in trendy causes and ambitious careers, have no interest in the past. Catherine almost despairs until one night she is visited by the ghost of her family's anscestor, an indomitable Renaissance businesswoman named Hannah Mandes.

The ghost of Hannah Mendes encourages Catherine to use every trick in the book to coerce the granddaughters to journey across Europe and acquaint themselves with their roots. While the sisters honor their grandmother's request out of loyalty, they believe their quest is futile--until it starts to uncover ancient pages from Hannah Mendes's fascinating memoir, and brings new loves into their lives.

 

About Naomi Ragen

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Naomi Ragen is the author of novels including The Tenth Song, The Sacrifice of Tamar, Sotah, The Covenant, and The Saturday Wife. Her books are international bestsellers, and her weekly email columns on life in the Middle East are read by thousands of subscribers worldwide. Ragen attended Brooklyn College and earned her master’s in English from Hebrew University. An American, she has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. She was recently voted one of the three most popular authors in Israel.
 
Published November 16, 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin. 384 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ghost of Hannah Mendes

Kirkus Reviews

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Now the only heirs to whom Catherine can leave the family’s relics—religious objects, Hannah’s Hebrew Bible, a few pages of her memoirs—are her granddaughters Suzanne and Francesca.

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Publishers Weekly

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The fact that the Nasi-Mendes family is real, with descendants all over the world, adds depth to the fiction, and Ragen uses harrowing descriptions of torture to explain how family members could be forced to turn against one another to avoid the worst of the Inquisition.

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