The Last Jew: A Novel of The Spanish Inquisition

The Last Jew: A Novel of The Spanish Inquisition

by Noah Gordon
4.1 12

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Overview

The Last Jew: A Novel of The Spanish Inquisition by Noah Gordon

In the year 1492, the Inquisition has all of Spain in its grip. After centuries of pogrom-like riots encouraged by the Church, the Jews - who have been an important part of Spanish life since the days of the Romans - are expelled from the country by royal edict. Many who wish to remain are intimidated by Church and Crown and become Catholics, but several hundred thousand choose to retain their religion and depart; given little time to flee, some perish even before they can escape from Spain.

Yonah Toledano, the 15-year-old son of a celebrated Spanish silversmith, has seen his father and brother die during these terrible days - victims whose murders go almost unnoticed in a time of mass upheaval. Trapped in Spain by circumstances, he is determined to honor the memory of his family by remaining a Jew.

On a donkey named Moise, Yonah begins a meandering journey, a young fugitive zigzagging across the vastness of Spain. Toiling at manual labor, he desperately tries to cling to his memories of a vanished culture. As a lonely shepherd on a mountaintop he hurls snatches of almost forgotten Hebrew at the stars, as an apprentice armorer he learns to fight like a Christian knight. Finally, as a man living in a time and land where danger from the Inquisition is everywhere, he deals with the questions that mark his past. How he discovers the answers, how he finds his way to a singular and strong Marrano woman, how he achieves a life with the outer persona of a respected Old Christian physician and the inner life of a secret Jew, is the fabric of this novel. The Last Jew is a glimpse of the past, an authentic tale of high adventure, and a tender and unforgettable love story. In it, Noah Gordon utilizes his greatest strengths, and the result is remarkable and moving.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466866737
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 03/25/2014
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 123,595
File size: 474 KB

About the Author

Noah Gordon has had outstanding international success, selling in Germany alone more than eight million copies of his recent trilogy (The Physician, Shaman, and Matters of Choice). The Society of American Historians awarded him the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Shaman as the best historical novel of 1991/1992. He was also voted "Novelist of the Year" by the readers of the Bertelsmann Book Club, and twice, in 1992 and 1995, he won the Silver Basque Prize for Spain's bestselling book. An earlier book, The Rabbi, was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 26 weeks. Noah Gordon lives with his wife in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Noah Gordon has had outstanding international success, selling in Germany alone more than eight million copies of his trilogy The Physician, Shaman, and Matters of Choice. The Society of American Historians awarded him the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Shaman as the best historical novel of 1991/1992.  He was also voted "Novelist of the Year" by the readers of the Bertelsmann Book Club, and twice, in 1992 and 1995, he won the Silver Basque Prize for Spain's bestselling book. An earlier book, The Rabbi, was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 26 weeks.  Noah Gordon lives with his wife in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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Last Jew 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent historical fiction incorporating the Jewish pogrom in Spain during Ferdinand and Isabella's days in the late 15th and early 16th century. Toledano's (Ramon's) struggles to hide his Jewish roots, and to avoid the dreaded Inquisition made for exciting reading. This book really personalizes the misery that mankind has forced upon others of his kind, and really makes you take a second look at the monarchs that primary school history courses made us believe were so progressive and beneficent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has it all, the story is so captivating that you will struggle to put it down. The story is so simple, yet so rich you will enjoy it and hate it when it's over!
lovetoreadMD More than 1 year ago
Love Gordon's writing style. True craftsman!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
My recent escorted tour of Southern Spain mirrored the places mentioned in this book. A must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just returning from a trip to Spain, I was totally taken with this novel that was an eye opener as to what these people went through. In our dreams we cannot imagine their life. If you are interested in the 1492 period...go for it.
Grendel More than 1 year ago
Perhaps too many unlikely "saves" for this hero, but the novel gives a very good idea of what life was like for "conversos" during the reigns of Ferdinand and Isabella at the time of the Inquisition. Interesting as well is the medical knowledge and procedures available in the 15th century which seemed to have to be rediscovered in our own time--like cararact surgery! A smooth and informative read...not intense at all.
i-heart-BOOKS More than 1 year ago
Noah, the author of this book, lives right here where i live and I know his daughter. I should try reading one of his books because i feel ashamed that all you people read it and I, a person who knows him, haven't read it. I will definitely get one of his books for christmas.