FREEDOM BEYOND THE SEA by Waldtraut Lewin

FREEDOM BEYOND THE SEA

Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A fugitive teenager has more than her sex to hide in this angst-ridden import, set aboard the Santa Maria as it begins its epic journey across the Atlantic. Disguised as a ship’s boy, Esther struggles to conceal her ignorance of ships and sailing from the coarse, narrow-minded, intrigue-ridden crew she has joined. Why is she taking such a chance? Because in 1492 the Jews are being systematically harried out of Spain, and the sea offers her only chance of escaping the brutal fate that befell her rabbi father. As if keeping her identity secret weren’t stressful enough, Lewin also throws her into the company of the vain, brilliant, sharp-eyed almirante of the little fleet, Don Cristóbal himself—and her feelings swiftly pass from admiration to something hotter. Several steamy scenes ensue, during one of which Esther is astounded to discover that Columbus is circumcised. As it turns out, he isn’t the only one aboard either. Though short on action—Esther makes her escape when the Santa Maria stops over in the Canary Islands, so she sees only the first part of the voyage—the tale is strong in emotional intensity, as the atrocities Esther witnesses, as well as the almost unrelenting cruelty and suspicion of the Christians surrounding her, convey a strong sense of what those ugly times must have been like. Lewin cites several sources in an afterword, both for the idea that Columbus had Jewish ancestors, and for the suggestion that he had ulterior motives for undertaking his world-changing expedition. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-385-32705-6
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2001




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE LAST SONG by Eva Wiseman
by Eva Wiseman
ChildrenA CAGE WITHOUT BARS by Anne Dublin
by Anne Dublin