By Light of Hidden Candles

By Light of Hidden Candles In a mud hut in the Jewish Quarter of th century Fez a dying woman hands her granddaughter a heavy gold ring and an even heavier secret Five hundred years later Alma Ben Ami journeys to Madrid to

  • Title: By Light of Hidden Candles
  • Author: Daniella Levy
  • ISBN: 9780991058471
  • Page: 246
  • Format: Paperback
  • In a mud hut in the Jewish Quarter of 16th century Fez, a dying woman hands her granddaughter a heavy gold ring and an even heavier secret.Five hundred years later, Alma Ben Ami journeys to Madrid to fulfill her ancestor s dying wish She has recruited an unlikely research partner Manuel Aguilar, a young Catholic Spaniard whose beloved priest always warned him about gettIn a mud hut in the Jewish Quarter of 16th century Fez, a dying woman hands her granddaughter a heavy gold ring and an even heavier secret.Five hundred years later, Alma Ben Ami journeys to Madrid to fulfill her ancestor s dying wish She has recruited an unlikely research partner Manuel Aguilar, a young Catholic Spaniard whose beloved priest always warned him about getting too friendly with Jews As their quest takes them from Greenwich Village to the windswept mountain fortresses of southern Spain, their friendship deepens and threatens to cross boundaries sacred to them both and what they finally discover in the Spanish archives will force them to confront the truth about who they are and what their faiths mean to them.At times humorous, at times deeply moving, this beautifully written and meticulously researched book will appeal to anyone interested in the history of Inquisition era Spain, Sephardic Jews, or falling in love.

    One thought on “By Light of Hidden Candles”

    1. The story is told from multiple points of view, past and present, a story very much about faith and religion and history. Alma and Manuel meet in present day NYC and discover they are both students at NYU and as fate would have it they spend a semester in Madrid as part of a university project searching for their ancestors. Manuel, who was born in Spain is carrying on the work of his father to find out more about his ancestors. Alma, a devout Jew is on a mission for her grandmother to find the a [...]

    2. In this story that weaves back and forth between the time of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain, specifically when they expelled the Jews out of their combined kingdoms after letting the Inquisition go after them and anyone protecting them, and the present day, a Jewish girl and a Catholic boy meet at college and travel together to research family archives in Spain.Alma is a devout Jew, one of a large family that ranges from Orthodox to non-practicing. She is very close to her grandmother, who has [...]

    3. I first found out about By Light of Hidden Candles by Daniella Levy when the author asked people to vote on cover candidates for this book on the group Jewish Historical Fiction. I voted for the cover that Levy decided to use. So I recognized it when I saw it on Net Galley which is my source for this ARC. By Light of Hidden Candles won't be published until October 2017.We pretty much know where the 15th century Jewish characters will end up because Alma, their 21st century descendant, already k [...]

    4. I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review."I hate to tell you this," she said, "but you're already there."I blinked. "Where?""The point of no return. You already think differently than you used to about religion. Even if you decide to go ahead and become a priest, after all, it'll never be the same for you as it was. You already can't go back."By request of her grandmother, Alma travels to Madrid to research the history of her family. From a family o [...]

    5. One of the best love stories I've ever read!This book clearly had substance as do all books which revolve around faith or history. I enjoyed every moment: the witty dialogue, the intellectual discussions and just all the learning. I had obviously underestimated Judaism: in regard to its rituals and celebrations, it's undoubtedly the single most complicated religion.It was the reason I felt compelled to give it a read- that, and it sounded like a brilliant love story. I was not wrong: it was ever [...]

    6. 50 Shades of Scrupulosity? I love it!Alma and Manuel are college students in cell-phone contemporary New York, yet they are so chaste and scrupulous they blush at the mere thought of a kiss. He is a cradle Catholic considering the priesthood; she, like her ancestors, would rather die than compromise her Jewish faith. From the moment they meet, these two are attracted and repelled, forbidden to marry someone who’d never convert, so strong is the religion they were raised in.Ethics and theology [...]

    7. "The Spanish Heritage Project: Research your Family's Past with NYU Madrid" This whole idea excited Alma, whose Grandma had recently entrusted her with some family history information. A ketuba is a Jewish marriage contract, and Mimi had these for the women in her family dating back five hundred years. Grandma also has a ring which has been passed down through the generations, but which belongs to a family who helped this Sephardic family during the Spanish Inquisition. And she wants it returned [...]

    8. I have always been fascinated with historical fiction/thriller stories. Anything with a historical background or story that transports me back to the past, as far back as the age of the cavemen, is surely going to end up in my TBR. This book is one. Even more so, because it talks about faith--Jewish faith. Judaism. I am not Jewish but this story had me reeling because it hits my weakness. I love stories about conspiracies or theories or just about anything about faith, religion and artifacts. Th [...]

    9. As part of an urban renewal project some years ago, an old building that used to house our family’s dry goods store was scheduled for demolition on Chicago’s south side. My sister was there, and was able to recover a box of family photos found in the walls. Inside were nineteenth-century photos showing solemn people from my Catholic father’s family wearing traditional flat black hats and clothing with embroidered Magen David (Star of David) for the men, and matching jewellery on the women. [...]

    10. A clean romance, where fate, faith, and history come together. Thanks to NetGalley, to Rosie Amber (from Rosie’s Book Review Team. If you’re an author looking for reviews, check here) and to the author for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.This novel fits into several genres. It is a romance (a clean or sweet romance. I’m not sure if the same that there are Christian books, there is also a category for Jewish books, but if there is, it would fall into that [...]

    11. By the Light of the Hidden CandlesI received this advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Miriam is a Jewish girl who lives in Spain with her Dad in the 15th century at the time of the Jews being expelled from Spain. A Christian family, Miriam's father does business with helps them escape from Spain to Morocco. Alma is a Sephardic Jewish girl in the present time whose ancestry goes back to 15th century Spain. Her grandmother has a collection of Ketubahs (Jewish marriage co [...]

    12. By the Light of Hidden Candles by Daniella Levy is the story of family history, religion and the story that connects us all. Alma Ben-Ami is studying at NYU where she is studying in a genealogy program and hoping to attend a semester in Madrid in order to research her family’s history. Her grandmother, asks her to find the family who gave their ancestor a ring and return it them. While preparing to go aboard, she meets Manuel Aguilar who is researching his own family genealogy. The two immedia [...]

    13. If you enjoy mysteries, history, and romance; realistic, warm, and witty dialogue; and becoming so immersed in a story that you can’t put it down, then “By Light of Hidden Candles” is just what you’ve been waiting for. The two main characters—Alma and Manuel—meet in Alma's grandmother's Judaica shop: Alma (originally from Albany, New York) and Manuel (a Catholic, originally from Granada, Spain) are both studying at NYU and will soon be classmates in the "Spanish Heritage Project: Res [...]

    14. I received this pre-published novel via Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley in return for an honest review.This novel was thoroughly enjoyable. We meet Alma, a young Sephardi Jew, born and raised in America, who, of her large family, feels the heavy mantel of maintaining her family's heritage. She meets Manuel, a Spanish Catholic, studying in New York by chance, when he wanders into her family's Judaica store. Despite the growing attraction that they feel for each other, they manage to become fri [...]

    15. Finding a really good book is one of the sweet pleasures of life.Daniella Levy's first novel, By Light of Hidden Candles, is by turns a troubling love story, a glimpse into two related religions and their practices, a mystery, a study in the tragedy of our brothers and sisters hidden in the world of the anusim (forcibly converted Jews), a romp through five hundred years of history.My favorite thing about Ms. Levy's writing is her ease with dialogue. I feel that I know her characters. I can see t [...]

    16. I was a bit unsure whether I would like this book when I started reading it. After all, it's the story of two people who search for their family roots. One is a Catholic from Spain, and the other, an Orthodox Jew from New York whose roots also trace back to Spain and the Spanish Inquisition. But I actually loved this book! The characters are believable and likable, and the change in point of view--from first person in the present to third person in the past--actually works well to advance the st [...]

    17. I loved it! Although the reader knows from almost the beginning how the book will end, it is a delicious path from beginning to end. The characters are wonderful - true to themselves throughout. And, in addition to a really good story, one learns quite a bit about the Spanish Inquisition, Catholicism and orthodox Judaism without feeling lectured to. The book is written in chapters by characters. Most are living in the present but there are also 'flashbacks' to the time of the Inquisition. It was [...]

    18. The only reason this book gets a three from me is that I learned a few things, primarily about Jewish history and traditions, which always interest me. Also, as I was reading, part of the book did come to mind often, with current events being what they are in the US right now. If it were not for those two things, the predictable plot and the simple, somewhat stilted dialog would have made it a two. I hate giving a new book such a bad rating, but as you can see by the amount of time it took me to [...]

    19. Definitely a recommended read to anyone interested in Jewish history, particularly the conversos from Spain. The characters are well defined and with complex personality, however the romantic part of the story I've found a bit too stereotypical and predictable. Despite the ups and downs, it is a story worth reading, as it brings to light interesting stories, many of them certainly based on historical sources.Disclaimer: ARC offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

    20. This book was a pure joy to read! Beautifully written and oh so full of information --- this very moving and emotional book touch my heart and soul. Friendships, faith and love all come together to create a lasting memory of a book. Thank you so much for the opportunity to have read this title prior to publication---I just loved it!

    21. It's ok. I did like the historical aspect of this book but I skimmed through a lot of it because it was too wordy with unnecessary and sometimes silly dialog. Might be a good book for teens.

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