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Doña Gracia’s Gold Pendant: A Historical Biographical Fiction Novel

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Imagine having to guard the secret of your family under the threat of mortal danger This historical novel is a story of love, jealousy, intrigue, mortal terror – of family secrets, courage, and devotion. It depicts the wide-ranging journey of Doña Gracia Nasi, a wealthy young Jewish widow from a family of forced converts, exiled from Spain in the 16th Century. Doña Gracia Imagine having to guard the secret of your family under the threat of mortal danger This historical novel is a story of love, jealousy, intrigue, mortal terror – of family secrets, courage, and devotion. It depicts the wide-ranging journey of Doña Gracia Nasi, a wealthy young Jewish widow from a family of forced converts, exiled from Spain in the 16th Century. Doña Gracia’s turbulent history comes to life, from age 12, when she is first told the secret of her forcibly converted family, to her escape from the terrors of the Inquisition in Portugal finally to Constantinople, via London, Antwerp, Venice, Ferrara, Lyon and Saloniki. The true story of Doña Gracia – forced convert, tycoon, charmer of kings, savior of her people! A successful businesswoman and visionary in a world in which women had no rights, Doña Gracia risks her life and her immense fortune to save her persecuted people. She powerfully bends kings to her will in an era of flourishing culture and the religious battles between Christians, Jews, and Moslems. Heralded the “Queen of the Jews,” she succeeded in obtaining a royal decree from the Ottoman sultan to settle the city of Tiberias. Meanwhile, her heartbreaking feud with her sister, Brianda, nearly sparked a world war! Scroll up now to get your copy of Doña Gracia’s Gold Pendant!


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Imagine having to guard the secret of your family under the threat of mortal danger This historical novel is a story of love, jealousy, intrigue, mortal terror – of family secrets, courage, and devotion. It depicts the wide-ranging journey of Doña Gracia Nasi, a wealthy young Jewish widow from a family of forced converts, exiled from Spain in the 16th Century. Doña Gracia Imagine having to guard the secret of your family under the threat of mortal danger This historical novel is a story of love, jealousy, intrigue, mortal terror – of family secrets, courage, and devotion. It depicts the wide-ranging journey of Doña Gracia Nasi, a wealthy young Jewish widow from a family of forced converts, exiled from Spain in the 16th Century. Doña Gracia’s turbulent history comes to life, from age 12, when she is first told the secret of her forcibly converted family, to her escape from the terrors of the Inquisition in Portugal finally to Constantinople, via London, Antwerp, Venice, Ferrara, Lyon and Saloniki. The true story of Doña Gracia – forced convert, tycoon, charmer of kings, savior of her people! A successful businesswoman and visionary in a world in which women had no rights, Doña Gracia risks her life and her immense fortune to save her persecuted people. She powerfully bends kings to her will in an era of flourishing culture and the religious battles between Christians, Jews, and Moslems. Heralded the “Queen of the Jews,” she succeeded in obtaining a royal decree from the Ottoman sultan to settle the city of Tiberias. Meanwhile, her heartbreaking feud with her sister, Brianda, nearly sparked a world war! Scroll up now to get your copy of Doña Gracia’s Gold Pendant!

30 review for Doña Gracia’s Gold Pendant: A Historical Biographical Fiction Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Majanka

    Book Review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/reviews/... In Dona Gracia’s Gold Pendant, main character Dona Gracia Nasi, a wealthy young Jewish widow from a forcibly converted family, shares her life story with the reader. The book starts out with Dona Gracia being barely twelve years old and being told the terrible secrets haunting her family, and follows her as she grows up, flees the terrors of the inquisition in Portugal, and risks everything to save her persecuted peop Book Review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/reviews/... In Dona Gracia’s Gold Pendant, main character Dona Gracia Nasi, a wealthy young Jewish widow from a forcibly converted family, shares her life story with the reader. The book starts out with Dona Gracia being barely twelve years old and being told the terrible secrets haunting her family, and follows her as she grows up, flees the terrors of the inquisition in Portugal, and risks everything to save her persecuted people, even the wrath of kings. This book was downright amazing. I had never heard of Dona Gracia before, but she’s such a charismatic, strong, determined woman that I couldn’t help but be inspired by her strength and courage. The setting was described in great detail, making the historical scenes come to life on the pages. The rich culture, the historical details, all of this gave the book an authentic, plausible feel. Ideal for fans of historical fiction and strong female protagonists.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara C. Pollak

    Unlike most readers, I was already familiar with the Dona Gracia story. Naomi Ragen's book, "The Ghost of Hannah Mendes" was also based on it. I genuinely appreciated the details of her life that were fictionalized here, but stayed true to the essence. I'm also sorry I didn't read it in the original Hebrew, because there were errors in translation that most readers wouldn't pick up on. Towards the end, it talks of planting "strawberry trees." I believe the translator meant mulberry. In Hebrew "tu Unlike most readers, I was already familiar with the Dona Gracia story. Naomi Ragen's book, "The Ghost of Hannah Mendes" was also based on it. I genuinely appreciated the details of her life that were fictionalized here, but stayed true to the essence. I'm also sorry I didn't read it in the original Hebrew, because there were errors in translation that most readers wouldn't pick up on. Towards the end, it talks of planting "strawberry trees." I believe the translator meant mulberry. In Hebrew "tut" means both, but are differentiated by adding "field" or "tree" and we know strawberries don't grow on trees...Just one example. So I gave the book itself 5 stars, but would have given the translator only 4.. If you ever find yourself in Tiberias, there is a Dona Gracia museum definitely worth visiting!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tess Ailshire

    Interesting enough that I kept on until I finished, but not compelling at all. For one who often finishes a book in one or two sittings, instead I would read a few pages and then put it down. The storyline is good, but the depth is lacking. When I finished the story, I didn't feel I understood Dona Gracia at all. I know only the superficial story. I was also turned off by the author's habit of using everyone's full name every time an individual is mentioned. It turned readable prose into a chore. Interesting enough that I kept on until I finished, but not compelling at all. For one who often finishes a book in one or two sittings, instead I would read a few pages and then put it down. The storyline is good, but the depth is lacking. When I finished the story, I didn't feel I understood Dona Gracia at all. I know only the superficial story. I was also turned off by the author's habit of using everyone's full name every time an individual is mentioned. It turned readable prose into a chore. I'm glad I read it - I now know something about a topic I only knew existed, but it doesn't seem like a good return on the investment. The text itself could benefit from a proofreader.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carole-Lesley Rowland

    I received this book via Voracious readers in return for a honest review. This book is not my usual type of genre, i do however have a deep interest in history. So i must state that although this book has a fictional storyline there is precise historical information within it, that i am certain could be historically verified. The characters are so interesting and as a reader you want to travel with them , meeting the people they meet and sharing their emotions throughout. The writing flowed easi I received this book via Voracious readers in return for a honest review. This book is not my usual type of genre, i do however have a deep interest in history. So i must state that although this book has a fictional storyline there is precise historical information within it, that i am certain could be historically verified. The characters are so interesting and as a reader you want to travel with them , meeting the people they meet and sharing their emotions throughout. The writing flowed easily throughout , there were no points where i felt i had to go back a few pages to remind myself of a character. This book had me hooked, it is the type of book you do not wish to put down , it grips you till the very end

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jaideep Khanduja

    This is the story of a woman of courage. The story is about a brave Jewish widow lady Dona Garcia Nasi. This is, in fact, a real historical novel that depicts the turbulent life of Dona Garcia right from the age of 12. At 12, she comes to know about the forcible conversion of her family and to safeguard herself from this torture, she plans to escape out of it. Her escape takes us to various places and countries she travels to. It is a story of her risks and how she converts threats to her into f This is the story of a woman of courage. The story is about a brave Jewish widow lady Dona Garcia Nasi. This is, in fact, a real historical novel that depicts the turbulent life of Dona Garcia right from the age of 12. At 12, she comes to know about the forcible conversion of her family and to safeguard herself from this torture, she plans to escape out of it. Her escape takes us to various places and countries she travels to. It is a story of her risks and how she converts threats to her into fortunes. A real story of courage that every woman should read to learn how to be courageous to transform every failure to success.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan Weintrob

    Dona Gracia de Nasi, heroine I have read much about this remarkable woman over many years. This historical novel brings to life a painful era in the history of the Jewish people, the Inquisition of the Catholic Church. Personalizing this tragedy allows us to learn and understand the passions of this time. Cruel antisemitism murdered, tortured, robbed and ghettoized Jews all over Europe for centuries. Dina Gracia was one of the few bright lights of hope during her life. The author has placed her i Dona Gracia de Nasi, heroine I have read much about this remarkable woman over many years. This historical novel brings to life a painful era in the history of the Jewish people, the Inquisition of the Catholic Church. Personalizing this tragedy allows us to learn and understand the passions of this time. Cruel antisemitism murdered, tortured, robbed and ghettoized Jews all over Europe for centuries. Dina Gracia was one of the few bright lights of hope during her life. The author has placed her in a meticulously researched historical context and maintained an intense and wonderfully written work.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    *Recieved an ARC from VRO in exchange for an honest review* I read a lot of historical novels so I am quite surprised that I've never even heard of the events that happened in this book. Doña Gracia seems to be an amazingly strong and independent woman considering the time that she lived in coupled with the fact that she was Jewish. I have always had great sympathy for Jews and the unfair persecution that they have faced time and time again. This is a hard read in that it deals with sensitive and *Recieved an ARC from VRO in exchange for an honest review* I read a lot of historical novels so I am quite surprised that I've never even heard of the events that happened in this book. Doña Gracia seems to be an amazingly strong and independent woman considering the time that she lived in coupled with the fact that she was Jewish. I have always had great sympathy for Jews and the unfair persecution that they have faced time and time again. This is a hard read in that it deals with sensitive and emotional subjects but it is rewarding and educational. On a negative note, I did find Doña Gracia to be quite miserly with regards her family, especially after her sister died. Also, some of the words used were anachronistic, such as 'going on a date', and so a bit jarring but this would be the fault of the translator, not the author.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Janet Cardillo

    Education thru historical story telling I had no knowledge of Dona Gracia and her work on behalf of Jews. I thought antisemitism began in the 30s. I knew about Sephardic, Spanish Jews, and never realized Ashkenazi was in Germany. Nor did I realize how the Jews came to live in Israel. I enjoyed the length of the story and the depth. I also liked the use of letters to move the action.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    I really enjoyed this sweeping epic about a woman who changed the face of history. Great characters and pace. The author brought the era to life in all its grisly, frustrating, unjust detail. My heart was in my mouth following Doña Gracia and her family's trials and tribulations. Well written, although there were occasions where I got a bit lost and had to flip back, as it seemed like I'd missed a page.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Char

    Fascinating Story This book may be factual but is in sore need of a stylistical and fact checking team. You don't plant strawberry trees for silk worms its Mulberry trees chests filled with good coins are far too heavy to be transported as described. People are on their death beds or have a headache are all cured by Rosewater rather than rose hips. Marches Like a Tim e line but far from portraying the horrible holocaust of The time.

  11. 4 out of 5

    jennifer worden

    Fascinating and educational The storyline was well organized and encompassed so much information. I was excited to know that for the most part the store was true. She was an extraordinary woman who truly changed the world for the better in a time when women usually were unable to have much impact on their own lives, much less a whole people group.

  12. 4 out of 5

    jeanette beja

    From a New Christian to a Jew Wonderfully researched this book is a must read for women of all ages. It is set in the XVI century and shows how a courageous woman became a bastion for the conversos of her time. Her business talents, her ethics, her bravery are all conducive to her success.

  13. 5 out of 5

    OT

    I reading the book, it was well written and interesting. I know about Dona Gracia Nasi for many years and read about her before and still I learn some new things. She was the riches woman in the world, in a world of men, and the book shows her as a person and the hardships she needed to face. I enjoy reading the book

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Jane P Goodman

    Interesting historical novel I never knew the story of this lady. It is very interesting and amazing, how a woman that long ago could run a business so successfully and do so much for the Jewish people. Only criticism is the story sometimes goes into too much detail

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Based on a true story with lots of greed, betrayal, jealousy, and persecution. No sex No violence

  16. 5 out of 5

    Margot Frye

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Voracious Readers Only. I attempted to read the book but it is just not my cup of tea. Best of luck to the author in future books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robert Brown

    Excellent! Tremendous insight to a time and place which I had no knowledge of. Great history lesson. This book will challenge me to learn more of this time in history.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anji

    It took forever to get this completed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paula Calcaterra

    Not my usual genre I was pleasantly surprised at the way the story held my interest. Initialy I did not realize it was based on a real person.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bonni.Goldberg

    The Saga of a Jewish Hero This book is a wonderful read. I know because I’ve researched and written a middle grade novel and a picture book that include Dona Gracia. Without a doubt, this telling offers the most depth in the depiction of Gracia and her relationship with her sister. It’s a story that is epic, sweeping and relevant. The author captures the complexity that Gracia must navigate in the world and in her heart!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sue Wright

    Magnificent book I loved this book from cover. It explores the great depth of family relations and the hurt and disappointment that comes from those relationships. It explores two great love stories, both of them beautiful in a different ways. It shows strength of character most of us never see up close and personal. I struggled with the numerous names which I could not pronounce but which I knew were necessary to the truth of the story. I would liked to have known Dona Gracia. Can't wait to tell Magnificent book I loved this book from cover. It explores the great depth of family relations and the hurt and disappointment that comes from those relationships. It explores two great love stories, both of them beautiful in a different ways. It shows strength of character most of us never see up close and personal. I struggled with the numerous names which I could not pronounce but which I knew were necessary to the truth of the story. I would liked to have known Dona Gracia. Can't wait to tell my sister Ruth about this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Yungher

    What a wonderfully written historical fiction. Loved reading this intriguing tale. We take so much for granted... Our ability to travel, pray as we wish and the opportunity we have in this modern world.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Judy Galindo

    I was interested in storyline as I began to read the book. But as I was deep in the story I felt like it was not written well. There would be jumping from one topic to another. Hard to believe it was based on a true historical storyline.

  24. 5 out of 5

    karen g swass

    Well written story of a remarkable women.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Hansel

  26. 4 out of 5

    Darlene Flatoff

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Newton

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jim Hedrick

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alexandria Cyrkiel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

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