I was so not expecting the contents of what I found inside this read. The cover is beautiful and I mistakenly thought this was going to be all about maps and mapmaking. There is certainly a thread of such that was intriguing to me but this was a story of the Jews in 15th Century Spain as told through Amalia Riba’s life’s eyes from young girl, womanhood and finally old age.
Amailia’s family made a choice to live as conversos which were converted Jews suppressing their faith. Her father was a mapmaker and because he served various royal courts they were spared some of the indignities that other Jews and conversos suffered. But time and the need to find her true self lead Amalia in another direction as she reaches the age of maturity.
I had no idea of the plight of the Jewish people in Spain and it was eye-opening and often painful. But the book rarely takes a break from religious discussions, customs or persecutions during this time period and it is intense. But the sharing of the history in a novel was softened by the characters introduced by Laurel Corona. I found myself drifting back to THE DOVEKEEPER by Alice Hoffman.
When I read more about Corona I could understand her point of view and skilled hand in this novel. She is most definitely well versed in this space. If you enjoy historical and/or religious novels and were ignorant like me about this period regarding Spain and the Jewish faith this is a must read.
Thank you Sourcebooks for allowing me to join this tour for THE MAPMAKER’S DAUGHTER.