Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Josefina's Sin by Claudia Long

Josefina Maria del Carmen Asturias de Castillo took care of her father's house and his accounts hen her mother died at the tender age of fifteen. Now, nineteen, she is to wed wealthy landowner Manuel Castillo Coronado. Their first few years of married life are good and they have a few sons. Josefina is content but she dreams of nobility, courtlife and other passions.

When she is invited to Viceroyal Court by the Marquessa, Josefina is torn. She wants to go as she has never gone anywhere but her home and her father's, but she doesn't want to leave her husband and her young sons. But Manuel thinks it will do her good and encourages her to go. Angelica tries to teach Josefina the ways of the court, but Josefina learns more on her own by learning from her mistakes.

However, the Marquess desires Josefina to warm his sheets, but she is adamant about staying true to her husband. But when the Bishop of Puebla makes his presence known, Josefina's desires bloom into passion. She had known the Bishop when she was a young girl and his stories and voice always drew to her. Now, she cannot contain her passion and spirals into a secret affair.

She also is drawn to one particular nun, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Sor Juana writes and speaks scandalous poetry by those that commission her. Her words can incite sensual feelings, hatred, love and envy. She begins to teach Josefina about the power of poetry, love and consequences.

Josefina's Sin is a richly woven tapestry of the Spanish Viceroyal Court of 17th Century Mexico with a fierce heroine finding her way through a changing and confusing world. The details are impeccably wrought and the characters are unique and complex, carving their own paths that lead to an unpredictable outcome. Suspenseful, passionate, historically rendered and hard to put down, Josefina's Sin is an amazing debut!

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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