* reviews of THE HERETIC on Goodreads … I have to admit I love to read these reviews … thanks to everyone for your kind words
Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 16, 2015
If I kept a GR shelf for family sagas, this book would be proudly placed there along withThe Pillars of the Earth, Gone With the Wind, and The Age Of Innocence. In my mind they are all historical novels which describe families and their trials and tribulations of living in troubling and/or interesting times.
This historical fiction was set during the Spanish Inquisition which I knew little about. During this inquisition under Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain in the late 1400’s and ear …more
The author, Lewis Weinstein, is one of my Goodreads friends. Outstanding job, Lew. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and this is historical fiction of the first order. It is very well written, exhaustively researched and historically accurate. This book increased my knowledge of the religious conflict in 15th century Spain by one hundred fold. The folks writing positive acknowledgements about the book include Elie Wiesel, Alan Dershowitz and Faye Kellerman. It tells the story from
the view …more
A touching well written book. Set during the Spanish Inquisition it shows the beautiful portrayal of a Jewish Family as they try to live in a culture that denies their humanity. I was touched with the tapestry of their lives, the length they went to live the lives that was true to themselves….and as you go through their struggles, you ask yourself a simple question what would I do in their situation. This ugly part of the Christian history is not well known to the modern church and it’s nice t …more
An historic telling of the treatment, by the Catholic church, of the Jews in Spain, leading up to the period of the Spanish inquisition. I have read a number of books about the annihilation of the Cathars and other religious groups by the Catholic Church, and I had realized the Jews were also persecuted by the church, but this story explores not only the actions of the church, but also the tenacity and resourcefulness of the Jewish people. A slowish read but a thoroughly interesting story.
I approached The Heretic with a small amount of trepidation because, as a gentile, I wasn’t certain that I would follow the passages of the explanation of the Jewish faith which I knew to be contained in the book.
In the event I needn’t have been concerned at all. Yes there was much of what I expected but all of this was wrapped around a thrilling and superbly told story and added strength to what Lewis Weinstein was trying to achieve; to give readers a complete understanding of how and why the J …more
I loved this book! Tells a part of European history I knew little about. “The Heretic” explains the rationale of the Catholic Church used to persecute the Jews of Spain. Lessons for our own time. I want to learn more about the Spanish Inquisition period so I am now reading the newly released book “Isabella The Warrior Queen” by Kirstin Downey. Looks to be another very interesting book.
I would assume that most people who consider reading THE HERETIC are familiar with the details of that tragic period of Jewish and Catholic history. While Lewis Weinstein’s scholarly novel does give the usual details about the predetermined trials, the tortures, and the burning of its victims, particularly at the end of the book, THE HERETIC goes much deeper into its causes.
Gabriel Catalan ’s Jewish father was forcibly converted to Catholicism,thus becoming a converso. While some Jews were abl …more
This historical novel is well-researched and the story is captivating, although difficult to read in places because of the terrible violence perpetrated against Jews and forcibly baptized Christians (and their descendants) suspected of “reverting” to Judaism in medieval Spain. The author captures well the dangers in the lives of these conversosand, for those who wish to live as Jews, the risks they ran to practice their faith and be true to their heritage. All of this is in the context of the l …more
What risks are your beliefs worth? During the Spanish Inquisition, this question permeates the lives of the Jews and conversos, those who had converted to Catholicism under duress. With noteworthy historical accuracy, Weinstein brings the fictional Catalan family and its nemesis Friar Perez, into the realistic world, one including Gutenberg, the father of the printing press, the infamously evil monk Torquemada, and various members of the royal families of the kingdoms of Spain that were not yet …more
I’m not sure where to start with my review of Lewis Weinstein’s ‘The Heretic’, so I’ll start by saying that it was a damn good read. I think that part of my problem here is that I read the sequel first, and while both books are very good works of fiction in their own right, there’s always a little less suspense when one knows, even in the broadest terms, what is going to happen down the line.
My misfortune aside, The Heretic is, like its sequel The Pope’s Conspiracy, a very well-written, historic …more
The Heretic is a wonderfully written novel about the Spanish Inquisition and the impact it had on the Jewish population in the 15th century. In Lewis Weinstein’s able hands, the history of Jewish culture trying to survive the Anti-Semitic acts of that era survive. In fact, Weinstein describes with great deft, the roots of Anti-Semitic views in Europe.
I read this book in one day, finding it difficult to put down. History, action, and love all abound in this book. Also present is the notion of i …more
A great read and strong reminders of how powerful fear can be in causing good people to hate each other. I also loved the deep loving marriages. The characters were very real, the dialogue honest, the descriptions vivit and the facts (historical and biblical) so well researched that I learned a great deal while enjoying a wonderful story. Thank you Lewis.
I found this book written about religious intolerance in Fifteenth-Century Spain interesting and informative and quite shocking. The descriptions of characters, costumes,scenery,landscapes and religious traditions made this book come alive for me.A Good read, this book really opened my mind about religious thought and dogma. I recommend this book to all.
I am Catholic. My entire life I have had friends that are Jewish. Until reading this compelling novel did I really understand their feelings towards Christianity. This book is a must read.
Gabriel Catalan’s father was stoned to death by a Christian mob despite converting to Christianity. As he nears middle age, Gabriel seeks to learn more about his father’s Jewish faith. Welcomed into a community of secret Jews, Gabriel is entrusted by them to learn the new art of printing from Herr Gutenberg himself so the Jews can preserve their sacred texts and encourage fledgling Jewish communities in Spain. As Gabriel’s fortunes rise, he hands over the printing operation to his son, Thomas, w …more
I finished The Heretic today. It is beautifully written and it is obviously carefully and thoroughly researched. The novel is a historical fictional account of the elimination of the Jewish population by the Catholic Church in Spain just before and during the reign of Queen Isabella. Moral questions are constantly put before the reader. Choices have to be made between religious commitment to the Jewish faith or to the safety and survival of the family. The wife and mother, Pilar, is much more in …more
I would highly recommend Mr. Weistein’s story of Spain during the time of the reconquista and the inquisition. It captures the conflicts in a land populated by Christians, Jews and Musliims in a remarkably fresh way. At this time the the Christian princes and princesse were involved in a struggle to reconcile holy wars manifested by the crusades and jihad, in a way that is difficult to appreciate in modern terms, which are largely a response to the religious passions of the times.However, these …more
Wow. It took me awhile to actually read this book because when I first stumbled upon it, it wasn’t available on kindle. Then I waited because I needed fast moving books to keep interested with my busy life. Who says fast moving needs to be mindless? Couldn’t put the book down. Finished in two weeks and was sad when the story was over. Well written historical fiction. Reminds me why I love historical fiction. Characters are believable and so full of life and stories to tell. Helps bring clarity t …more
Everyone, be you Christian, Catholic, Jewish….matters not this is a book which will open your eyes and broaden your knowledge of how religious persecution took place. You will be astonished at how religion was used to severly punish people – so times for no good reason. you owe it yo yourself to put this book as a must read..when you are done you will have a much better understanding of our human race. GREAT BOOK!
Thank you Lewis Weinstein for this fabulous book!
It moved me so deeply… I admire your art and your research. “The Heretic” educated me, and the Catalan family now lives in my heart.
Excellent historical novel; don’t miss it!
Our reading group gave it 5 stars.
Compelling read about conversos surviving on the eve of the Spanish inquisition. This was in limited release and hard to track down, but it was worth it.