Incantation by Alice Hoffman

October 13, 2012
By TheWritingArtist PLATINUM, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TheWritingArtist PLATINUM, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
22 articles 1 photo 11 comments

Incantation by Alice Hoffman was a surprising and thrilling tale that took place in Spain, during the 1500s. In that time Jews were sincerely frowned upon. Some people were living their life as if every day were at its darkest time. Others saw the world having blue skies every day. As for the elements of plot, the introduction was neat and made you want to read on. It made you question and wonder what was going to happen next. Suspense wasn't exactly present in Incantation, however the thrill and surprise in the book substituted well for the lack of suspense. Most of the book felt as if it were the climax; giving hints of adventure, thrill and anticipation. The conclusion was the best part by far. It really made everything make sense. It gave you such a realization of the book's events that I had an “ah-ha” moment. The conclusion was one that made you feel good in the end. Even when everything that could go wrong went wrong, Hoffman made it seem like the world was a perfect place anyway. Another thing the author did well on was the dialogue. At first I was confused because of the way the dialogue was written, but it showed lots of emotion and insight into the characters feelings. I gave the author a double thumbs-up! To add to the book's impressiveness, much of the book was propelled by strong conflicts. At the beginning you saw a conflict between two best friends. As that conflict grew, so did religious conflicts. I found that between the Christians and Jews there was a lot of tension. Some people even hid the fact that they were Jews just to avoid conflict. The main character Estrella was a very curious character. She always wanted to know the truth, understand it, believe in it, and find it in herself. She realized that through the truth came horrible things that weren't able to be reversed. Her love for her ex-best friend's cousin was one truth that couldn't be hidden. But Estrella moved on and realized that the truth was the path to follow. This book by far stood out from any other book I've ever read. In the beginning I expected it to be just another boring, historically-based book. Instead Estrella had modern thoughts about love, friendship, and fear. That's when I realized that all of the characters' feelings were true not just written in a book. I ended up feeling the same feelings as the characters. I felt the weight coming down on the characters also coming down on me. I took from this book that to understand the world around you, you must understand your own world first. It made me believe that our world is one we don't really know, even if we think we know it all. It's really a strongly written book that everybody should read. It's a book like no other and I highly recommend it!

The author's comments:
This is one historical fiction book that you won't be assigned to read in school. That usually means it's good!

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This article has 1 comment.

BWig said...
on Nov. 6 2012 at 9:08 am
I've always felt like the best books really dive into the characters, and if you get to a point where you're not thinking about it being a book, but just immersed in the story, the author has really done their job.  Sounds like this book was like that for you!  Sounds like some pretty strong topics too - especially when you think of the effect religious conflicts have had on the world.  Thanks for the review!

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