Calligraphy of the Witch
Alicia Gaspar de Alba. Houston, TX: Arte Publico Press, 2012. ISBN: 9781558857537
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
by: Minerva Alaniz

Section: Adult Book Reviews

Reviewed by Minerva Alaniz, Associate Librarian, Texas Tech University Lubbock

Arte Público Press has brought out a new edition of Alicia Gaspar de Alba's beautiful story of a mother’s love for her daughter.  Concepción Benavidez would never have imagined that her life would turn out the way it did - indentured in a convent, escaping only to become a slave and hunted as a witch. 

Concepción’s mother and father abandoned her in the convent where she worked as a scribe.  Her friend, Aléndula, convinces her to escape only to be kidnapped by pirates, tortured, raped and sold as slaves in Boston.  A pregnant Concepción is sold in Boston to a merchant to help his crippled father-in-law with his farm and housekeeping where the master’s daughter covets her baby.  Concepción is persecuted as a witch because of her Catholic religion and her Spanish.  She is falsely accused by her master’s son-in-law, people from the town and even her own daughter. 

This exciting historical fiction novel is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all collections

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