During the Spanish Inquisition on the island of Majorca, a small enclave of local Jews all of whom were pressured into baptism as Christians determine to escape detention in the Inquisition by escaping to lands of freedom across the Atlantic. But weather frustrates their flight, and eventually thirty-seven of them were captured and condemned to the stake in the Auto-de-Fe.
In prose at once lyrical and suspenseful, Riera recreates the lives of Majorcan Jews in the seventeenth century in a world of inquisitors, aristocrats, merchants, farmers, and soldiers in a lush mosaic of history and period detail, religion and cultural lore. Already acclaimed around the world, In the Last Blue is at once a beautiful, poetic, riveting, and devastating tale of hope and fear.
Carme Riera was born in Palma, Majorca, in 1948 and is a professor of Spanish literature at Autonomous University of Barcelona. She has been awarded a number of prizes for In the Last Blue, including the Josep Pla Prize, the Joan Crexells Prize, the Lletra d Or Prize, the Ministry of Culture National Prize for Narrative, and the Elio Vittorini Prize. In the year 2000, the Government of Catalonia awarded Riera the Saint George Cross. She is a member of the Association of Catalan Language Writers.
The novel is strongest in exploring powerful human needs. Riera s characters, Jews and Christians alike, want to feel part of a larger while and to believe that theirs is the true path. Even as she depicts the extreme behavior arising from those desires whether great acts of courage or the worst intolerance Riera avoids caricature and theatrics. She makes her martyrs and persecutors life size, however their experiences. -Boston Globe