When a cache of brittle papers is discovered hidden in a seventeenth-century London home, historian Helen Watt is called in to consult. Reluctantly assisted by American graduate student Aaron Levy, Helen—just months away from forced retirement—suspects the papers contain a potentially groundbreaking discovery: a Jewish woman
acting as scribe for an influential rabbi. Ester Velasquez was an orphan, newly arrived in 1660s London from Amsterdam, when she offered to take her rebellious brother's place as scribe for her blind teacher and guardian, Rabbi Moseh HaCoen Mendes. It's an unconventional role for a young Jewess—and Ester's only chance to satisfy her staggering intellect and to find purpose beyond the narrow confines of marriage and motherhood. This immersive historical novel shifts back and forth between the twenty-first and seventeenth centuries, its intricate story of ambition and sacrifice unspooling one glittering thread at a time.
This book is part of our Bas Bleu Book a Month 2019 package