For her entire life Mirelle has known life behind the Ghetto gates. Every Jew in Ancona, Italy must live within the gated area. Her father runs a renowned Ketubah workshop and Mirelle relishes in the artistry, she also has a talent for keeping her father's accounting books in check. However, as Mirelle becomes a marriageable age, it becomes improper for her to work in the shop. Mirelle's parents also have a very wealthy suitor in mind for her. As these changes come into Mirelle's life, Napoleon's French Troops arrive in Ancona. With the troops arrives Christopher, a French soldier who makes Mirelle question her faith, her morals and her family.
Beyond the Ghetto Gates is a transformative coming of age story as well as a deeply historical account of Napoleon's influence on Jewish communities during his Italian Campaign in 1796. I didn't know anything about Napoleon's time in Italy and was amazed by the changes he created as well as his infatuation with a miracle portrait of a Madonna. The writing changes between the points of view of Mirelle, Daniel and Christopher in Napoleon's troops and a Catholic family, Emilio and Francesca. All of these points of view are important to the story, however, it takes a little while to set everything up and the story didn't completely capture my interest until everyone's story lines came together. Mirelle's character was very well written. From the beginning I was amazed by her intelligence, steadfastness, caring nature and maturity. Mirelle's journey to find her purpose in life is a difficult one, filled with missteps, challenges and self realization. I appreciated that while romance was a part of the story, it was not what Mirelle fell back on in order to improve herself. Through Daniel and Christopher we see the impact of Napoleon's campaign through the eyes of both a Jewish and Catholic soldiers and their interactions with the citizens of Ancona. They see the effects of injustice as well as the positive and negative effects of faith on people and what that can drive them to do. I didn't know anything about Napoleon's Italian campaign or even the original Italian Ghettos before reading this and was glad to open my eyes to this part of history. The writing created vivid imagery of Ancona, the Ketubah workshop and the dazzling homes. Beyond the Ghetto Gates is an amazing story of courage, hope and doing what's right.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
I znowu Modiano taki, jakim go lubię! Uwodzi elegancją swojej opowieści, niepokoi, zasmuca…Zwodzi i krąży, sugeruje, ale unika jasnych deklaracji, co uwielbiam.
Starzejący się pisarz niejako ponownie odkrywa swoje dzieciństwo, które pogrzebał w niepamięci. Oderwane od siebie i dawno minione obrazy ukazują się w rozbłyskach przypomnień: odpryski zdarzeń, twarze łączące się z miejscami, wnętrza wywołujące emocje…
I to niepokojące zakończenie, gdy udziela nam się lęk i obawa chłopca i…to już koniec, zostają tylko męczące pytania i smutek opuszczonego dziecka.
I was fortunate enough to win a copy of Collette Cameron's book, The Earl's Enticement. I loved the story of Adaira and Roark. The Earl's Enticement is a well written book with plenty of action, drama, humor, lovable characters and steam. I look forward to reading more from Collette Cameron in the future. The Earl's Enticement is about 350 pages of enjoyable reading and is a complete book, not a cliffhanger.