Alice Hoffman's Incantation tells the tale of undercover Jews in Spain during the 1500s. Our main character, Estrella, doesn't even realize her family is Jewish. She finally puts the pieces together and sees the danger her family is in. They have been practicing Judaism but masquerading as good Catholics for years. When they are found out . . . well, it won't be good. At one point, Estrella thinks, "Still, I coudln't help but wonder if it was a mistake for people like us to be tied to a place. If we weren't meant to wander. If everything we needed was tied up in who we were." Later, she asks her grandfather a similar question. He answers, "You run once, what makes you think you won't have to run all the rest of your life?" But if you don't run, will there be a "rest of your life"?
Incantation is a great historical fiction for the young adult reader. It delves into history, telling a tale we don't come across too often. I recommend this novel to all YA Historical Fiction fans. Read on!