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The Ghost of Hannah Mendes (1991)

av Naomi Ragen

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3861748,008 (3.68)13
When Catherine da Costa, a wealthy Manhattan matron, learns she has only a short time to live, she realizes that her family tree will die unless she passes on its legacy and traditions to her granddaughters. But Suzanne and Francesca, beautiful young women caught up in trendy causes and ambitious careers, have no interest in the past. Catherine almost despairs until one night she is visited by the ghost of her family's anscestor, an indomitable Renaissance businesswoman named Hannah Mandes. The ghost of Hannah Mendes encourages Catherine to use every trick in the book to coerce the granddaughters to journey across Europe and acquaint themselves with their roots. While the sisters honor their grandmother's request out of loyalty, they believe their quest is futile--until it starts to uncover ancient pages from Hannah Mendes's fascinating memoir, and brings new loves into their lives.… (mer)

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» Se även 13 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 17 (nästa | visa alla)
This was an excellent read, if you like family, family-oriented books, and happy endings. I do not. While there was significant and very well-researched history, the jumps required to pull the various sub-plots together were... almost insulting, from the point of view of anyone who does not believe in the primacy of family lineage and blood-lines. ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
This was an excellent read, if you like family, family-oriented books, and happy endings. I do not. While there was significant and very well-researched history, the jumps required to pull the various sub-plots together were... almost insulting, from the point of view of anyone who does not believe in the primacy of family lineage and blood-lines. ( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
Sisters Francesca and Suzanne head off to Europe to research and find a manuscript written by an ancestor who lived through the Inquisition. Their steps seem led in a mystical way, and they find more than the manuscript. ( )
  lilibrarian | Jun 20, 2018 |
Loved this book. I visited her museum on one of my trips to Tiberias. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Sep 21, 2017 |
I admit I picked this book off the shelf because of the beautiful cover. Also, it had a ghost. And memoir 500 years old, that there is a search for. What’s not to love?

Catherine has been told she only has a short time to live. She is sad that her two granddaughters don’t follow the families Sephardic tradition, and, worse, are still single and childless. The ghost of Hannah Mendes visits her, encouraging Catherine to have her granddaughters visit Europe and find her long lost memoir. Suzanne and Francesca are opposites and not apt to work well with each other; Francesca is a workaholic who values only money, while Suzanne has given her life over to good causes. But they agree to take on the task. Once on the way, they encounter flawless men, supernatural events, and, yes, some of the memoir.

A search for literary treasure should have been right up my alley. But detective work is not the point here. This book reads like a sermon- a racy one at points, but a sermon combined with a history lesson none the less. The moral of the entire story is to value family and religious tradition above all else, never marry outside the religion, and that women need to have children to carry the traditions on. I could have – maybe – tolerated this paean to motherhood above career if the book had been better. But it’s not. The characters never come to life. I actually kind of disliked both the granddaughters; they were caricatures. Catherine has more life than them, but is absent for most of the story. The men are too perfect to be real. In fact, the entire adventure is too perfect.

Hannah’s memoir is interspersed with the present day adventure, and it’s more interesting. Born in the Renaissance in a family of conversos, Jews who have converted to Catholicism. They haven’t, really; they continue to celebrate their traditions in private. This put them in terrible danger at this point of history, with the Inquisition going hard. At first Hannah seems to live an enchanted life, but it’s only a few years before things go bad. She rallies, however, and becomes a great heroine. She is a real, historical personage and I did enjoy learning about her, but even her part is told rather flatly.

Sadly disappointing. ( )
  lauriebrown54 | Mar 13, 2016 |
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For my dear mother and father, Ada Fogel Terlinsky and Louis Terlinsky. May their memory be forever blessed.
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The street felt cold after Dr. Emil Weinsweig, Jr.'s elegantly overheated offices on Fifty-fourth Street and the Avenue of the Amerias.
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Man comes forth like a flower and withers, He flees like a shadow which fades... But there is hope in a tree, That if it be cut down, it will sprout again, Its tender boughs will no cease though the root grow old in the earth, and its trunk dies in the ground. Through the scent of water it will bud again, Putting forth leaves like a sapling. Job, 14:2-9

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When Catherine da Costa, a wealthy Manhattan matron, learns she has only a short time to live, she realizes that her family tree will die unless she passes on its legacy and traditions to her granddaughters. But Suzanne and Francesca, beautiful young women caught up in trendy causes and ambitious careers, have no interest in the past. Catherine almost despairs until one night she is visited by the ghost of her family's anscestor, an indomitable Renaissance businesswoman named Hannah Mandes. The ghost of Hannah Mendes encourages Catherine to use every trick in the book to coerce the granddaughters to journey across Europe and acquaint themselves with their roots. While the sisters honor their grandmother's request out of loyalty, they believe their quest is futile--until it starts to uncover ancient pages from Hannah Mendes's fascinating memoir, and brings new loves into their lives.

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