Book Club

Dear Fellow Readers:

Here’s a literary treat!  We’re going to read about love, family, and the ties that bind us to generations past.  We’re going to read about the secrets connecting generations for three centuries in this arresting story about women and the compromises they must make for survival. The author immerses us in 17th Century Spain and doesn’t let us emerge until 21st Century America, when Rachel fills in the missing spaces.  This novel affirms women’s strength, desire to be heard, along with a fierce love of family.  This is a tale of honor and deception, of hidden pain and, eventually, forgiveness.  This intriguing story spans the Old and New Worlds, exploring the oppression and power of generations of women bound together by a dark family secret—and their modern-day descendant’s quest to uncover the truth about her ancestry.”  


In 1661 Madrid, Ana is still grieving the loss of her husband when her niece, sixteen-year-old Juliana, suddenly vanishes. Ana frantically searches the girl’s room and comes across a diary. Journeying to southern Spain in the hope of finding her, Ana immerses herself in her niece’s private thoughts. After a futile search in Seville, she comes to Juliana’s final entries, and, discovering the horrifying reason for the girl’s flight, abandons her search.

In 1992 Missouri, in her deceased mother’s home, Rachel finds a packet of letters, and a diary written by a woman named Juliana. Rachel’s reserved mother has never mentioned these items, but Rachel recognizes the names Ana and Juliana: her mother uttered them on her deathbed. She soon becomes immersed in Juliana’s diary, which recounts the young woman’s journey to Mexico City and her life in a convent. As she learns the truth about Juliana’s tragic family history, Rachel seeks to understand her connection to the writings―hoping that in finding those answers, she will somehow heal the wounds caused by her mother’s lifelong reticence.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope you will too.