Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: "The Inquisitor's Wife" by Jeanne Kalogridis

From Goodreads: In 1480 Seville, Marisol, a fearful young conversa (descendant of Spanish Jews forced to convert to Christianity), is ashamed of her Jewish blood. Forced into a sham marriage with a prosecutor for the new Inquisition, Marisol soon discovers that her childhood sweetheart, Antonio, has just returned to Seville and is also working for the inquisitors. When Marisol’s father is arrested and tortured during Spain’s first auto da fe, Marisol comes to value her Jewish heritage and vows to fight the Inquisition. When she discovers that her beloved Antonio is working to smuggle conversos safely out of Spain, she joins him and risks her life on behalf of her people; a passionate romance follows.

Unfortunately, Marisol does not realize that her supposedly kind and gentle inquisitor-husband has been using her all along to lead Antonio and her fellow conversos to their doom...

My Thoughts:  I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I find the Spanish Inquisition to be such a fascinating period in history so when I see a book set in that era, I have to read it.  The Inquisitor's Wife is a fantastic story following a conversa, Marisol, as she comes to understand and embrace her Jewish heritage while also trying to save herself and her loved ones the wrath of the Inquisition.

I really liked Marisol as a character.  She was really interesting because there was so much going on around her that she was unaware of.  That sounds weird to say but I thought it was interesting to watch her try to put the pieces of her life together; she had grown up thinking thinking one thing about her life and slowly finding out something totally different.  She started out as this incredibly naive, kind of spoiled, young girl but she really grew throughout the story as she learned the truth about her past, parents and husband.  

I really enjoyed this book and I think it had to with the fact that there were so many twists and turns.  When the story starts, the reader doesn't have any more information than Marisol does about events that have occurred in her family and in Seville.  I felt like I never knew what was going to happen next and every time I thought I had it figured out, something completely different would happen.  It made the story extremely exciting and made the book difficult to put down.

There was a pretty big twist at the end which was pretty awesome but I did feel like the story kind of ended abruptly.  There was so much more I wanted to know, mainly about Marisol's life after she escaped from Seville, but the story just kind of ended and the reader is left to assume that everything works out the way you hope it will.  Otherwise, I thought this was a great book and would highly recommend it! 4 stars.


  1. This sounds like a great book! I myself am a Moroccan Jew and my family suspects we are descended from Jews who fled Spain to Morocco! I, too, love this topic- ever read Incantation by Alice Hoffman?
    Esty @ Boarding with Books

    1. I haven't but I like Alice Hoffman so I will definitely check it out!

  2. I've been wanting to read this, so hearing you enjoyed it gets me excited. There was a book about the Inquisition I was a little obsessed about when I was younger (Out of Many Waters), but besides that haven't read a lot about it. Which only makes me want to read it more.

  3. I just finished this book and totally agree with your review. I loved that it was breathlessly fast-paced and exciting, and I was happy about the ending. But I felt the fast pace was to the detriment of the characters' development. I'm part of an online book club, Literary Wives ( and we're all reviewing this book on February 3. You should check it out and join the conversation! We'd love to hear your opinions!


Imagination Designs