The Poetry of Secrets

The Poetry of Secrets

by Cambria Gordon


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Perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys and Elizabeth Wein, this lyrical portrait of hidden identities and forbidden love is set against the harrowing backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition.

As a young woman in 1481, Trujillo, Spain, Isabel should be overjoyed that the alguacil of the city wants to marry her, especially since she and her family are conversos — Jews forced to convert to Catholicism — leaving them low in the hierarchy of the new Spanish order. Yet she longs to pursue an independent life filled with poetry and a partner of her own choosing: Diego Altamirano, a young nobleman whose family would never let him court someone with tainted blood like hers.

But Isabel's biggest secret is this: Though the Perezes claim to be New Christians, they still practice Judaism in the refuge of their own home. When the Spanish Inquisition reaches Trujillo, determined to punish such judaizers, Isabel finds herself in more danger than she ever could have imagined. Amid the threat of discovery, she and Diego will have to fight for their lives in a quest to truly be free.

A timeless love story about identity, religious intolerance, and female empowerment, The Poetry of Secrets will sweep readers away with its lush lyricism and themes that continue to resonate today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781338634181
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 02/02/2021
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 623,388
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Cambria Gordon is the coauthor of the award-winning The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, winner of the National Green Earth Book Award. She has written for Los Angeles Times Magazine, Boys' Life, Parent Guide News, and The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. She lives in LA with her husband and youngest son, and as close as possible to her two adult children, without annoying them.

Read an Excerpt

As she followed Diego, Isabel was aware that her heart was beating too fast. Being with him, she felt as if she were a bird in a cage, content to sit perched and be fed, yet yearning to flap her wings and break free. She had no word, no previous experience, to describe it.

Diego swept the water off the tiled seat with his gloved hand so she could sit down without wetting her cape and dress. He remained standing, rearranging the dagger on his belt. "I owe you an explanation for why I asked you to meet me."

He abruptly sat down beside her.

Was he going to grab her and kiss her? Would she enjoy it or scream for help?

"I sent you that note to warn you," said Diego. "And now with this book burning, I'm afraid it's confirmed. You're in danger."

"From whom?"

"From the Inquisition. From the civil authorities. From people like my father. And, perhaps most worrisome of all, your future husband."

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