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Voyage of Strangers Paperback – September 30, 2014
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“Not only does Zelvin present us with a captivating fictionalized depiction of the Spanish conquest of Hispaniola, she also paints a vibrant and well-researched picture of Spain—especially Andalucia—under the rule of Their Most Catholic Majesties, Isabel and Fernando. The rich historical setting and the engaging Mendoza siblings combine with Zelvin’s writing skills to make this a most enjoyable and thought-provoking read.” —Historical Novel Society
"Engaging and well researched.” —Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
"What makes this book so outstanding, though, is not its setting or its realism or even the lessons it teaches. Its main strength lies in its wonderfully complex characters." —acclaimed writer John M. Floyd
About the Author
Elizabeth Zelvin is a New York City psychotherapist and author of a mystery series featuring recovering alcoholic Bruce Kohler. Liz is a three-time Agatha Award nominee and a Derringer Award nominee for Best Short Story. She is currently working on the sequel to Voyage of Strangers. Liz is also an award-winning poet with two books of poetry and a singer-songwriter whose album of original songs is titled Outrageous Older Woman. After many years in private practice and directing alcohol treatment programs, she now sees clients from all over the world online. Her author website is at www.elizabethzelvin.com. Visit www.lizzelvin.com for Liz’s music and www.LZcybershrink.com for online therapy. Liz is a veteran blogger, posting weekly for seven years on Poe’s Deadly Daughters and, most recently, on SleuthSayers.
Top customer reviews
Voyage is the story of the adventures of young Diego Mendoza and his sister Rachel, Jews living in Spain during the Inquisition. Because of Diego's father's friendship with Christopher Columbus, Diego secures a place as a sailor with Columbus on his voyage to find the new world. Columbus discovers a land he named Hispaniola, built a fort using wood from the wrecked Santa Maria, and befriend the natives, the Taino, who shower the explorers with gifts, including gold.
Columbus leaves forty men at the fort and returns to Spain to tell of his discovery and bring gifts of gold to encourage more support from the king and queen. Once he is back in Spain, Diego realizes his twelve-year-old sister is in danger and arranges for her to sail, unescorted, to Italy where she will be safe with their parents. However, Rachel recognizes she is in danger from the captain hired to transport her on his ship and escapes. As she wanted all along, Rachel dons boys clothes and boards the ship Diego and Columbus are on, as it sets sail for Hispaniola. Columbus agrees, on a ship with no women Rachel needs to be protected, so she is to continue to pretend to be a boy called Rafael, to act as Columbus' scribe and to sleep in his quarters. So begins the exciting and tension-filled adventures of these two young people.
A major theme of Voyage of Strangers is the terrible things done in the name of religion, relevant in today's world as well as in the time of Columbus.
Voyage was gripping and I found it hard to put down. I would recommend Voyage to any one who enjoys historical novels, both adults and young adults.
I read historicals with a map in one hand and a non-fiction account of the events in the other. A Voyage of
Strangers is well researched and well written. The characters are strong and believable; the landscape is
I don't know a lot about the period of discovery. Most of my own work is set from 1600 on. I learned something
new from reading it. But more important, I found myself entranced by the feel of the period.
This is a story about people with power being at their best and worst among people with none.
I wanted to cheer for everyone, well, almost everyone.
The author is telling the story of her characters, and while she is grounded in the events, it is the characters who tell the story, not the author's need to get the history on the page.
I loved every minute I spent with Diego and Rachel, and their friends and fellow travelers.
Spoiler alert: Generally it followed a Jewish sailor named Diego, and his little sister named Rachel, who traveled with her brother from Spain to the Caribbean Islands dressed as a boy. They had to hide not only Rachel's gender, but also the fact that they were Jews from the other sailors and priest who were Christians during the time of the inquisition. As well as see and face the brutal treatment the Christian sailors had on the helpful and kind Taino (the island native indians), who Diego and Rachel had befriended.