Title: Josephina’s Sin
Author: Claudia H Long
Review: This story is beautifully written and flows well, and yet it made me sad to think that is the way women were treated for generations and yet in some countries they are still treated so poorly. Rape is a crime and yet it was looked upon as the woman’s’ fault. Why would that ever have been thought of? Well the men did make and uphold the laws for too long, thank heaven women have rights now.
Some parts are quite graphic and may turn a reader off to the book, but if you let it the story will sweep you up drawing you in and keeping a tight hold even after the reading is done. Josephine is a character full of life and yet she wants something more, I think she got a bit more then she bargained for in the deal. Her husband wants her to do what will make her happy because he loves her. He loves her and yet if she is not available for her “Wifely duties” then he feels no problem going to another willing body. Why is it ok for a man to sleep with other women when he is married and yet not ok for the women to do the same? I hate double standards and the way it is defended in history is disgusting. It is either right for both or wrong for both.
I read the book in less then three days and the ending was rewarding and worth the wait, I feel for Josephine and the need she has to confess to gain redemption, but what’s done is done. Only more pain and loss can result in her honesty. Telling the truth is sometimes not the best for anyone, including yourself.
Why I only give it 3 1/2 stars is because I thought the book was heading towards a certain direction, but it never really made it, in my opinion. Education for all is necessary as is freedom of expression and I think that was the message of this book, but it got lost in all the deceit and sex.
History, torture, injustice, immorality, adultery, abuse and love fill the pages of this book. Love for her husband, love for her sons and love for the life she has and hopes to keep and get back at the same time. A longing from years before once fulfilled only brought heartache and loss, a good lesson for anyone I think. Think about read this book, you will learn something about history and maybe about yourself in the process.
Publisher: Expected publication: August 9th 2011 by Atria
ISBN: 145161067X (ISBN13: 9781451610673)
Quick Review: 3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Why I Read It: Atria asked if we would review this book.
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent from the publisher.
Synopsis: A passionate debut novel about a wealthy landowner’s wife whose life is turned upside down when she visits the Spanish Court in 17th century Mexico.
A thrilling and passionate debut about a sheltered landowner’s wife whose life is turned upside down when she visits the royal court in seventeenth-century Mexico.
When Josefina accepts an invitation from the Marquessa to come stay and socialize with the intellectual and cultural elite in her royal court, she is overwhelmed by the Court’s complicated world. She finds herself having to fight off aggressive advances from the Marquessa’s husband, but is ultimately unable to stay true to her marriage vows when she becomes involved in a secret affair with the local bishop that leaves her pregnant.
Amidst this drama, Josefina finds herself unexpectedly drawn to the intellectual nuns who study and write poetry at the risk of persecution by the Spanish Inquisition that is overtaking Mexico. One nun in particular, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, teaches Josefina about poetry, writing, critical thinking, the nature and consequences of love, and the threats of the Holy Office. She is Josefina’s mentor and lynchpin for her tumultuous passage from grounded wife and mother to woman of this treacherous, confusing, and ultimately physically and intellectually fulfilling world.
Author Biography: Claudia H. Long is a practicing attorney in Northern California. She wrote her senior thesis at Harvard University on the feminism of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and revived her passion for Sor Juana when she wrote Josefina's Sin. She is the mother of two children, and lives with her husband.