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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
At Vitoria: A City's Medieval Promise Between Christians and Sephardic Jews by Marcia Riman Selz is a fascinating story of love, hatred, tears, shame, terror, and tragedy that takes readers to the medieval city of Vitoria in northern Spain where families were expelled after the edict of expulsion was issued by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. The twelve men who were the leaders of the congregation had lived in France ever since then and built large homes in the better parts of Bayonne. Everyone knew the story of how the Jews were ostracized, expelled, murdered, and robbed, though many of their ancestors who lived in other parts of Spain were not subjected to these types of atrocities. This book is also about the story of Crevagos, a Jewish family who lived and survived through the Spanish Inquisition.
At Vitoria will introduce readers to the Jews and Christians who resided in Vitoria, Spain. Readers are taken on a journey along with the Crevago family and see how they managed to live in harmony with their Christian neighbors. This historical novel is informative and the trauma undergone by the Jews during that period is heartrending and palpable to readers. At Vitoria gives readers details about what exactly happened in the Spanish town of Vitoria and also shows the dark side of humanity that existed in those days. The author has researched well and given readers a story steeped in history, where the cruelty of the period was overshadowed by the friendship between the Christians and the Sephardic Jews. The characters are well sketched and the book is a riveting combination of history, drama, facts, and fiction that will keep readers glued till the very end.