Seemingly impossible, beautifully and meticulously and detailed research makes this a story that was poignant, emotional, romantic, historically fascinating and also hopeful.
Animosity against Jews has been universal. It has existed for hundreds of years. We go back five hundred years in this story where a seemingly impossible love existed between a Christian and a Jew and a ring that has come down twenty three generations with a message to each generation that they must find the Christian family who saved a Jew and gave them this ring, and return it to them.
To Alma and Manuel a Jew and a Catholic trying to trace ancestry - one this improbably owner of the ring and the other his father's dying dream of establishing their precedents, two more unlikely youngsters one couldn't imagine. Alma is orthodox Jewish follows the laws and customs of her people, Manuel is on the verge of joining a seminary. Both families look askance at the friendship. Both families are cautious where this will go though both Alma and Manuel have no romantic feelings for each other.
The story is convoluted, long and goes back and forth in time. Told in separate time frames going back five hundred years and then hopping across to the present times is not easy but the author handles this seamlessly. You never have a sense of being jarred out of the twentieth century and then going back to the fourteenth. It is a very smooth transition.
I enjoyed the story very much - all its facets. History, religion, romance, geography the works.
Sent to me by Netgalley, for an unbiased review, courtesy of Kasva Press LLC.