Award-winning novelist Marcia Fine releases her seventh novel, Hidden Ones — A Veil of Memories, in March 2017. The book explores the lengths the Crespin family must go to evade religious persecution for secretly practicing Judaism during the 17th century Inquisition in Mexico. They risk discovery, imprisonment and even death while helping their grandmother, the beloved matriarch of the family, escape from prison. The novel is based on an actual case.
Fine felt this to be a relevant topic, since today’s citizens of the Southwest are linked to this piece of history. She explains, “When the Inquisition expanded to open offices in Lima, Peru, Mexico City and Cartegena, Columbia, fear spread through all the areas controlled by Spain. That included almost half of North America. Many traveled north into the Southwest Territories to escape. Today, many are discovering their heritage in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado through DNA and genealogy.” It also echoes some of the immigrant journeys today.
The novel begins in Mexico City with the aftermath of an auto-de-fé, An Act of Faith, in 1649. Fine interviewed an expert on the topic, a professor who was able to help her unveil intricacies such as what the inquisitors ate for breakfast and a detailed description of the Grand Inquisitor. She also traveled to the novel’s setting to immerse herself in the smells, sounds and tastes of their culture, as she does for all her writing research. Fine integrates her research and personal experiences into the pages of her book so while it is historically accurate and authentic, the story also comes alive for the reader providing an unforgettable journey into the past.Marcia Fine