Book Review and Lesson: Incantation

This post will be more serious than anything. I’m sorry to start off my blog with a serious post instead of the one I planned to do about boys, but I felt this was necessary. I haven’;t even had time to completely compose my thoughts, so this may be interesting a disaster. It is now midnight, and I am sleep deprived. I’ll be surprised if I’m still grammatically correct at this point. If you have no interest in reading a serious post right now, I would stop reading and I would direct yourself to confederacyofspinsters.com. They are so funny. Like, seriously… not even kidding.

A few minutes ago I finished reading the book Incantation by Alice Hoffman. It literally (yes, I used this in the correct definition because I actually did finish my book in this amount of time) only took me three and a half hours to read this book.  I couldn’t put it down. Instead of partying on a Saturday night like most teenage girls, I curled up with a cup of tea and read this book. That’s how good it is. If I could make everyone in the world read one book, I would choose this book. It not only is a great book but also conveys a great message as well.

The book is set during the Spanish Inquisition. For those of you who have no idea what the Spanish Inquisition is, it is the time period (1481 until well into the eighteenth century) where Jews were persecuted and murdered by Catholics. Some Jews would convert to Christianity to escape persecution, BUT they would be looked down upon and reviled in society even more so than a non-converted Jew would be. These times were bad for the Jews. It was not easy, and most fled Spain to escape the persecution; although, they had to leave everything they loved and owned behind. That is some background you need to know before you even pick up the book.

First of all, I would recommend that you not read this book unless you are in ninth grade or above. The first three-fourths of the book are very easy to get through, and you may find yourself asking, “Why would Isabella recommend to wait until high school to read this book? Nothing bad happens at all. I mean, there’s no sex, violence, drug use, etc… ” That’s what I thought up until that point, too. My mother told me she’d rather me wait to read this book. After I got into the last fourth of the book, I understood why. Things start to get gruesome. It did not get to the point where I had to set the book down, but it did get hard to get through the page a couple of times. I found myself crying several times in the last few chapters of the book. Granted, I am a VERY emotional girl, but it’s just heart wrenching things that you have to read at the end of Incantation. Also, I think most people reach an age of maturity they’ll need in order to comprehend and be able to get the message out of the book. Now that I’ve covered that one point, I’ll give the synopsis on the back of the book.

“Estrella de Madrigal thought she knew herself: daughter, granddaughter,dearest friend.

But truth is rare in this cruel and unforgiving century in Spain, when Jews who refused

conversion to Christianity risked everything– love, life, family, faith.

Then: a startling discovery shakes Estrella’s world to the core. Emerging from a cacoon

of secrets, new love burns brightly, but betrayal unleashes a monstrous evil upon her

Estrella must find the strength– despite grave consequences– to become the person

she is destined to be.

Remember the story she is about to tell you.” 

If you seem interested in the story, I strongly encourage you to read it. If you don’t, I still strongly encourage you to read it. This story conveys a great message that everyone in this world needs to learn. I can’t tell you how many times the kid behind me in English class at school has told me that I’m just a stupid catholic and that I’ll burn in hell if I don’t become a Christian.

A) I’m Catholic…. That’s a branch of Christianity. Actually, it is the ORIGINAL branch of Christianity.

B) Who the hell are you to tell me what religion I should practice? (I’m getting to the lesson here…) What I learned from this book is that you can’t force someone to become a certain religion. For example, you can’t force a Jew to become Christian and expect them to follow Christian rules, virtues, and values. At least, I don’t expect them to. I mean if someone told you to completely change who you are, would you? I doubt it. You would at least find a secret way to be yourself. People need to learn how to accept others the way they are. They can’t change people if that’s who they’ve been since they were born. If more people could learn this lesson AND live by it, the world would be such a better place. Honestly, I know I have friends from all sorts of religions, and I personally LOVE them. I would also NEVER expect them or make force them change their religion. They wouldn’t be the same people. I personally find forcing religion upon someone immoral and pure EVIL. . I don’t even think I could live with myself if I did that.

I don’t expect anyone to read this all the way through, but if you do, I hope you gained something from this or at least enjoyed the post.  I completely intend on my next post being about boys. I will also hope it’s funny. Until next time.

Isabella

p.s. I didn’t even try to check for mistakes because it is one in the morning, so I apologize in advance for my errors throughout. I hope you forgive me. Remember, this is a judge-free zone….

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