Though the Spanish Inquisition began half a millennium ago, its geographical reach spread throughout the New World, and its chronological reach stretched into the 20th century. Last December marked the start of the 50th anniversary of the annulment of the Alhambra Decree, the law that forced Spain’s Jews to either abandon their Jewish faith, leave the only land they knew, or be put to death.
Descendants of that abject medieval cruelty live today throughout the world, including in the United States. Some identify as Sephardic Jews and some as Christians, the latter often without awareness of their Jewish ancestry.
Alternating between Inquisition-era Spain and modern-day Israel, “Loaded Blessings” follows a Jewish family forced to make a horrible choice in order to survive the hostile political and social climate against them. In her debut novel, Faith Quintero weaves the medieval era with today, making the distant past accessible and relevant.
“Loaded Blessings,” published by Chaiwright, is available online in both digital and paperback form. It is also available locally at the Spirit of ‘76 in Marblehead and other local stores. Quintero will discuss the book with the senior group at Marblehead’s Temple Emanu-El on Aug. 13, and will also talk about her novel on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. at Temple Tiferet Shalom in Peabody.