Alternating between Inquisition-era Spain and modern-day Israel, Loaded Blessings is the story of a family who loses almost everything as they flee into exile, but is left with a powerful heirloom that reaches across time.
Abi Segil, an American archaeologist, jumps at the chance to examine artifacts from a sunken ship discovered off the coast of Tel Aviv. Ever since she inherited a centuries-old Sabbath candlestick holder, she has been yearning to find its counterpart. She believes it could be among the artifacts of the medieval wreckage.
Five centuries earlier, in Castilian Seville, Sancia Pareja watches her community succumb to the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. She is eventually forced to make a gut-wrenching decision: convert from her Jewish faith, leave the only land she’s ever known, or accept death at the hands of a royal edict. When her Catholic friend, Baltasar, crafts a set of bronze candlestick holders for her to take on her journey, she has no idea how his gift will reverberate through time.
Includes extensive facts within the fiction appendix and a list of informational resources.
Melissa Langsam Braunstein listed Loaded Blessings among her selection of The Federalist's top books of 2019.
She writes, "If you've ever wondered what it was like to live through one of Jewish history's most infamous chapters - the Spanish Inquisition and Expulsion - first-time novelist Faith Quintero has written Loaded Blessings for you. Set partially in 15th century Iberia and partially in contemporary Israel, the novel toggles between the two telling the story of one family across the centuries, while also addressing larger themes like antisemitism. As a historical fiction buff, I found the historical sections most interesting, but those looking to learn more about Israel will enjoy the modern sections too..." --The Federalist, "The Federalist's Best Books Of 2019," December 12, 2019 Loaded Blessings is a 2020 Eric Hoffer Award Montaigne Medal Finalist. "The Montaigne Medal is given in honor of the great French philosopher Michel de Montaigne," and is awarded to "books that either illuminate, progress, or redirect thought." --The Montaigne Medal Finalists Eric Hoffer Awards 2020 " . . . Quintero, who holds a master's degree from Harvard and who studied in Israel at Tel Aviv University, brings to this debut novel an extensive knowledge of Jewish history. This has clearly supplemented her lively, historically credible saga of Sancia and her family... With a wealth of notes and resources, Quintero's wide-ranging work is designed to attract an intelligent readership to a story combining relevance, mystery, and romance," Barbara Bamberger Scott of The US Review of Books. --The US Review of Books --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Loaded Blessings is Faith's first novel. She graduated from Emerson College, earning a BS in Mass Communication and then from Harvard University, earning an M.Ed., focusing on human development and psychology. She attended a semester at Tel Aviv University in Israel and worked as a volunteer on a banana plantation in Kibbutz Magal.She wishes for a peaceful world for all, with many blessings, loaded or otherwise. --This text refers to the paperback edition.