The Gods of Dona Gracia (Die Gottessucherin) | Peter Prange

„More life fits into no book”

Are we allowed to sacrifice our love for other human beings for the sake of our love for God? Peter Prange tells about the fateful journey through life of Gracia Mendes, one of the most exceptional women of European Renaissance. Although she is a faithful Jewess, fear of the inquisition forces her to live as a Christian. As if that was not enough, she is married to a man who ruthlessly reaps the benefits out of the distress of his Jewish brothers in faith. But during the wedding night, the alleged traitor becomes the love of her life. The cruel tyranny of the inquisition, however, forces Gracia to flee through the seething continent. The voyage of the God seeker begins, the voyage of a fighter who would go on to challenge kings and popes...


S Most of the time, so-called historical novels describe only the surface of life if they do not content themselves with clichés in the first place. There is nothing new, nothing thrilling to be found … but if somebody painstakingly illuminates the stage of the past, burying himself in the world of ideas and the life of the historical characters, almost falling in love with them, then the historical novel appears indeed actual and in the end gives us the impression to have learned something for our own life from the fate of long dead people. Peter Prange is one of those writers who does not need to pad out the historic context with clichés and ready-made set pieces. He allows us to feel his own enthusiasm for time and place and with his ardent, unspoilt language he puts us under his spell. Even though the characters of the novel are (to a large part) real, even though the subject is real and the compendium (for it would show lack of respect as well as lack of faculty of judgement to call "Die Gottsucherin" simply a tome because of its size) contains valuable facts (in this specific case about the history of the Jews) in abundance, even the most serious historical novel is allowed to be fun for its readers. And how entertaining are those 760 pages!
Ditta Rudle, Buchkultur, February / March 2010
Peter Prange’s novel "Die Gottessucherin" tells – apart from the Holocaust - the most far-reaching and most tragic story of the Jews since the end of the Jewish kingdoms. In its centre we find the Jewess and force-baptised Christian Gracia Mendes during the time of the expulsion of the Jews out of Spain in the year 1492. Through her journey through life, Peter Prange reflects in a gripping and extremely vibrant way the social-political and religious conflicts that changed the world up to this day.
Avi Primor, long serving ambassador of Israel in Germany.
A smashing novel!
Inka Schneider, DAS!, NDR television, 21 December 09
A magnificent panorama of the 16th century
Buch aktuell, 22 December 09
An excellent novel, which captivates with its complexity and authentic descriptions. The reader is sent back in time, and afterwards hardly feels willing to return to their own present and bid the characters farewell. Once again Peter Prange shows that he belongs among the top writers of historical fiction in Germany. History live and in colour!
Leselust, January 2010
Turn your mobile phone off and your reading light on – this tome will put you under its spell immediately.
Brigitte, 04 November 09

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