The Forgetting River

A Modern Tale of Survival, Identity, and the Inquisition
Carvajal, Doreen (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
The Forgetting River

Item Details

The unexpected and moving story of an American journalist who works to uncover her family's long-buried Jewish ancestry in Spain. Raised a Catholic in California, New York Times journalist Doreen Carvajal is shocked when she discovers that her background may actually be connected to conversos in Inquisition-era Spain , Jews who were forced to renounce their faith and convert to Christianity or face torture and death. With vivid childhood memories of Sunday sermons, catechism, and the rosary, Carvajal travels to the south of Spain, to the centuries-old Andalucian town of Arcos de la Frontera, to investigate her lineage and recover her family's original religious heritage. In Arcos, Carvajal is struck by the white pueblo's ancient beauty and the difficulty she encounters in probing the town's own secret history of the Inquisition. She comes to realize that fear remains a legacy of the Inquisition along with the cryptic messages left by its victims. Back at her childhood home in California, Carvajal uncovers papers documenting a family of Carvajals who were burned at the stake in the 16th-century territory of Mexico. Could the author's family history be linked to the hidden history of Arcos? And could the unfortunate Carvajals have been her ancestors? As she strives to find proof that her family had been forced to convert to Christianity six-hundred years ago, Carvajal comes to understand that the past flows like a river through time -and that while the truth might be submerged, it is never truly lost.
Authors: Carvajal, Doreen
Title: The forgetting river
a modern tale of survival, identity, and the Inquisition
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2012
Characteristics: 304 p. ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Doreen Carvajal
Contents: Ancient voices
Living on the brink
First impressions
La crisis
The quest
The enchantment of fear
A faithful Andalusian
An unfaithful Catholic
Sharp notes
Clues in the blood
Forbidden tastes
Pruning the tree
There is a season
El call
Saving voice
Return to the Ottoman Empire
A time to speak
Decoding defiance
Below the roses
Synagogue de Notre Dame
Between the voices
River's end
Cry of the stones
Final card
ISBN: 1594487391
Branch Call Number: 305.892404688 C3311f 2012
Subject Headings: Carvajal, Doreen Travel Arcos de la Frontera (Spain) Description and travel Inquisition Spain Marranos Spain Arcos de la Frontera Crypto-Jews Spain Arcos de la Frontera Jews Spain Arcos de la Frontera
Topical Term: Inquisition
LCCN: 2012009180
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Library Staff

New York Times journalist Doreen Carvajal traces her own family’s genealogy, and tries to answer the question: were her ancestors Spanish conversos, forced converts from Judaism to Christianity?

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Jun 05, 2014
  • DorisWaggoner rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A fascinating topic, and vivid descriptions of time spent visiting, and then living for months at a time, in an Andalusian town where Carvajal's family might have lived during the Inquisition. As a journalist, she is seeking proof of whether or not the mysteries of her secretive Catholic family can be explained by their having been "conversos" --Jews forced to convert to Christianity by the Inquisition. Her ambivalence about where her present allegiance should lie, and the circularity of the structure of the book mar it, however.


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Version red_eye (red_eye) Last updated 2014/09/09 09:50