Doña Gracia’s Gold Pendant

August 29, 2018

Imagine having to guard the secret of your family under the threat of mortal danger

This historical novel is a story of love, jealousy, intrigue, mortal terror – of family secrets, courage, and devotion. It depicts the wide-ranging journey of Doña Gracia Nasi, a wealthy young Jewish widow from a family of forced converts, exiled from Spain in the 16th Century. Doña Gracia’s turbulent history comes to life, from age 12, when she is first told the secret of her forcibly converted family, to her escape from the terrors of the Inquisition in Portugal finally to Constantinople, via London, Antwerp, Venice, Ferrara, Lyon and Saloniki.

The true story of Doña Gracia – forced convert, tycoon, charmer of kings, savior of her people!

A successful businesswoman and visionary in a world in which women had no rights, Doña Gracia risks her life and her immense fortune to save her persecuted people. She powerfully bends kings to her will in an era of flourishing culture and the religious battles between Christians, Jews, and Moslems. Heralded the “Queen of the Jews,” she succeeded in obtaining a royal decree from the Ottoman sultan to settle the city of Tiberias. Meanwhile, her heartbreaking feud with her sister, Brianda, nearly sparked a world war!

REVIEW

A Masterclass in Storytelling.

on August 1, 2018 (Emerald Book Reviews)

Author Michal Aharoni Regev weaves an outstanding, noteworthy and moving historical story, with intriguing twists and turns that will easily captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. The author paints a compelling story of love, jealously and fear in a very vivid and convincing way. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction. It’s a relatively fast-paced novel that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘This historical novel is a story of love, jealousy, intrigue, mortal terror – of family secrets, courage, and devotion. It depicts the wide-ranging journey of Doña Gracia Nasi, a wealthy young Jewish widow from a family of forced converts, exiled from Spain in the 16th Century. Doña Gracia’s turbulent history comes to life, from age 12, when she is first told the secret of her forcibly converted family, to her escape from the terrors of the Inquisition in Portugal finally to Constantinople, via London, Antwerp, Venice, Ferrara, Lyon and Saloniki.

A successful businesswoman and visionary in a world in which women had no rights, Doña Gracia risks her life and her immense fortune to save her persecuted people. She powerfully bends kings to her will in an era of flourishing culture and the religious battles between Christians, Jews, and Moslems. Heralded the “Queen of the Jews,” she succeeded in obtaining a royal decree from the Ottoman sultan to settle the city of Tiberias. Meanwhile, her heartbreaking feud with her sister, Brianda, nearly sparked a world war!’

Now, if that’s not enough to get your whet your appetite, I don’t know what will. But if you want to find out what happens, you’ll just have to turn the pages for yourself! However, I will say it was well worth the read. It’s my first time reading this author and I must say I was very impressed.

Captivating and commendable, this work had me immersed from the beginning. It’s a unique, impassioned historical fiction interwoven with true-life history. The story flowed from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There are plenty of attention-grabbing moments in this page turner that will take the reader on a truly compelling and fascinating journey!

It’s one of those books that come along occasionally that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader.

If this book is anything to go by, I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from Michal Aharoni Regev in the future. It also has a distinctly cinematic feel to it and I could easily see it being adapted to the Silver Screen. A well-deserved five stars from me.

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