In 1492, Amalia sits in an empty room, waiting for soldiers to take her away. A converso forced to hide her religion from the outside world, she is the last in a long line of Jewish mapmakers, whose services to the court were so valuable that their religion had been tolerated by Muslims and Christians alike. But times have changed. When King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella conquer Granada, the last holdout of Muslim rule in Spain, they issue an order expelling all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity.
As Amalia looks back on her eventful life, we witness history in the making—the bustling court of Henry the Navigator, great discoveries in science and art, the fall of Muslim Granada, the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. And we watch as Amalia decides whether to relinquish what’s left of her true self, or risk her life preserving it.
Exploring an under-published period in history, The Mapmaker’s Daughter ($14.99) is a sweeping saga of faith, family and identity that shows how the past shapes our map of life.
Laurel Corona is a frequent speaker on Jewish life and literature, and is member of the Brandeis National Committee, the National Council of Jewish Women, and Hadassah. She has taught at San Diego State University, the University of California at San Diego, and San Diego City College, where she is a professor of English and Humanities. She lives in San Diego.
How Far Would You Go To Stay True to Yourself?
Spain, 1492. On the eve of the Jewish expulsion from Spain, Amalia Riba stands at a crossroads. In a country violently divided by religion, she must either convert to Christianity and stay safe, or remain a Jew and risk everything.