A Novel of the Spanish Inquisition

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
251 Pages
Reviewed on 07/15/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jennie More for Readers' Favorite

Expulsion by Sherry V. Ostroff is a story set in the 15th century from the perspective of a young Jewish girl Basseva, detailing her and her family’s experiences during the Spanish Inquisition. Although they are a noble family in Spain, as her father was the financial adviser to the King and Queen, not even they were spared from the atrocities inflicted on Jewish people. The monarchs created the Spanish Inquisition to convert Jews to Catholicism, and those who refused to convert faced expulsion from Spain. When Father Alonso captures Basseva and interrogates her over weeks, she watches the torture of conversos accused of still practicing the Jewish religion. Basseva is falsely accused by her seamstress of heresy, stating that Basseva secretly influenced her with the teachings of Judaism, diverting her attention from her Catholic religion. The reader experiences Basseva’s humiliation and fear of a public execution.

Expulsion by Sherry V. Ostroff is a fictional story about a real-life historical event, the Spanish Inquisition. Ostroff shows you the comfortable life of this noble family in Spain when Basseva prepares to meet her betrothed and contrasts this with the torture Jews endure at the hands of the Inquisition. Expulsion is a book about the fight for identity as Basseva’s family, her fiancé, and his family desperately try to hold onto Judaism. They must settle for mere existence as they can no longer be who they are; Jewish. The critical underlying message I took from this book is that religion is not just what you are, but who you are. It is so deeply entrenched in our hearts that no one can ever truly separate us from it. Expulsion is a well-written and captivating tale that simultaneously disturbed and delighted me as I read about the horrific torture of the conversos contrasted with the innocent love between Basseva and Samuel. While you read this book, you will experience many emotions as you watch love, horror, violence, hate, jealousy, death, torture, and family unity unfold before your eyes in one novel and done so spectacularly.