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The Bookseller's Sonnets

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  210 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
A secret diary, written by the eldest daughter of Thomas More, legal advisor to and close friend of Henry VIII, intertwines three love stories with a tale of religious identity and mystery spanning 500 years and three countries.
ebook, 334 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by John Hunt Publishing
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Community Reviews

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Jun 27, 2015 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad. Predictable in a way.
Laura Macy
This is a good story, somewhat of a mystery really. It's just not polished enough to be a 4.
Nov 23, 2012 thewanderingjew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jill Levin works with Holocaust artifacts at the Holocaust Museum in Lower Manhattan. One day, a package is received which is enigmatic. There are no identifying marks, names or addresses, but the sender claims to have met her and hopes that she will treat the book she has just received, with the proper care. It appears to have been written in the mid 1500’s. The authenticity of the book will have to be verified.
If the book is authentic, it was written at a time when women were treated as chatte
Pat Timpanaro
May 10, 2013 Pat Timpanaro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another one I read for book club.

There are three main stories: the story of Margaret More Roper, daughter for Thomas More, set during the reign of Henry VIII; a Holocaust survivor whose family Margaret's manuscript has been passed through the generations; Jill Levin, a contemporary curator at the Jewish Heritage Museum in lower Manhattan.

As I was reading the book, I found I was enjoying the older stories much more than the contemporary one. Ms. Levin is dating a man who is too-good-to-b
Dec 10, 2012 Debrah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the writing in this book was really interesting. The combination of 16th century England, WW2 and present day Manhattan was somehow weaved all together in a very believable way. The holocaust story portrayed was heartbreaking and I thought the author did an excellent job in showing how easy it is to become invested and entwined with someone's personal narrative, while at the same time separating oneself from the awful history. The story of Margaret More was eye opening, and while it wa ...more
Sep 20, 2010 Donald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Andi Rosenthal deftly weaves together past and present in this wonderful debut novel, The Bookseller's Sonnets. Because of its religious plot, people will want to compare it to the Davinci Code; while is does have cinematic potential, as that novel did, it is more multi-layered, modern, and taps in to character, prejudice and identity much more than the Davinci Code; it is more than just a religious mystery. Lead character Jill Levin, a curator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in present- ...more
Aug 03, 2013 Marjorie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story that weaves together Tudor England, the Holocaust, and 911 into a story about a young Jewish woman, Jill, a curator at a Holocaust Museum, who must break the news of her relationship with a non-Jew to her deeply loved Holocaust-survivor grandmother. Then, a 500-year-old book is donated to the Holocaust Museum by a survivor who writes that it had been passed down through the centuries to the oldest daughter in each generation, but which seems to have been written by the oldest d ...more
Jamie Ander
Dec 15, 2015 Jamie Ander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, it was a great read! i loved the intricacy between the Tudor era and the Holocaust time period. Jill was an interesting character and I really felt her pain as she really felt so torn between her boyfriend and her family. When she found the manuscript, I was really intrigued but after a while I had a feeling it was her grandmother sending her the letters. It just was so sad that her family was holding onto so much hate though and could move past it, her grandmother never knew ...more
Sep 22, 2012 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this contemporary view of old and more recent history. The protagonist, Jill, is at once very smart and talented, but naive and melodramatic in her emotional swings which I found a little annoying. I very much enjoyed the Tudor history and learning about the ways in which the conversos played (or MAY have, as the factual material is blended with the fictional) a role in facilitating the divorce of King Henry VIII from his Spanish queen. The ending was predictable, but that didn't detract ...more
Feb 26, 2013 CarolAnn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought this to be another of Carrie's romance novels and it did have two stories of love plotlines, one of the past and one present day romance. However, there were more to this book. I was intrigued by the historical fiction storyline. I learned of the era of Thomas More, Margaret More,Thomas's daughter and King Henry VIII. There also was a poignant section of a holocaust survivor and how these two worlds were connected. I especially enjoyed the portrayal of the humans at their best ...more
Cindy S
Jill works as a curator for the Holocaust museum in NYC. One day she receives a package of a seemingly very old manuscript written by Margaret More, daughter of Sir Thomas More. Accompanying the manuscript is a letter by a holocaust survivor who proceeds to tell her story thru subsequent letters. The book moves between three time periods: present day, 1940's and the 1500s (tudor era). Interesting story lines with fascinating historical background makes for a good read.
Jan 06, 2013 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interestingly written book bringing together story lines from Tudor England, the Holocaust and current day. It was difficult to read at times because the stories it portrayed were heartbreaking. The main characters(s) are flawed in a very real way which makes the story that much more readable. It's an interesting story about the intermingling of Jewish and Christian life and the implications of such overlap...from the 1500s to today.
May 16, 2016 Julia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While the subject and writing of this book are very captivating. I found the author 19s views to be very antagonistic towards Orthodox Judaism. The Orthodox husband is a cheater, covering hair is very oppressive, and all the history should be left in the past. Live today, be happy and forget the history.
Sue (booknbeachbag)
I enjoyed this book a lot. As mother to children whose grandparents (on their father's side) were Holocaust survivors, I love reading about the impact of the Holocaust on young adults of my children's generation. The struggle that Jill went through over her relationship was interesting to follow.

I read this for my book club and I'm anxious now to discuss the book.
Apr 18, 2015 Graciela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a fictional story with some historical figures woven into the story. It deals with Tudor England in the 1500s, the Holocaust, and the present. The story keeps one's interest because it is full of details about the different times and how the past affect or blurs the present. The writing style is brilliant.
Nov 14, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book combined many of my favorite historical topics - Jewish hertiage, Tudor history and of course, a good love story - all in the backdrop of New York City. Rosenthal's story may have been fictional, but it is written in a very believable way - with a surprising twist at the end that I definitely did not see coming - and I'm usually pretty perceptive!
Aug 26, 2012 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a book chosen by someone else for me to read and the description sounded intriguing. Unfortunately, I found it to be a thinly developed historical novel with many requirements for a leap of faith as well as reason. Characters were bland and shallow. The whole thing seemed a bit amateurish and silly. Luckily, it was a quick read.
Pat Jorgenson Waterchilde
Touching, heartfelt, sad and beautifully written are the word to describe this novel. While an easy read, the story that interwines the centuries from Tudor England through the present day is wonderfully written and captures the soul of those who live during those times. For me, my heart was touched with love, sadness and hope. A wonderful book to be read. I would hightly recommend it!
Apr 25, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I thought there were good discussions of Jewish issues that I think about a lot. Although the plot was pretty predictable in many senses, I still managed to be intrigued - mostly by the part of the story involving Henry VIII. Still, I cried near/at the end. A good read.
Apr 13, 2016 Janalee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story within a story within a story.

Downside: The conversations between co-workers, boyfriend/girlfriends, family members were so....polite. A small dose of Liane Moriarty might have done them well.
Laurie Ann Silberman
I loved this book. The combination of history, culture and mystery is just what like to read. Learning about other cultures and other times is a passion for me. Especially when I learn about my own culture, even when the history is painful.
Aug 09, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautifully written book - almost poetic at times. I loved the intertwining stories from different eras - Margaret, the unknown person sending the letters and Jill & Michael's story. I especially found the last third of the book mesmerizing. Great book club choice!
Eric Osserman
Dec 28, 2014 Eric Osserman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant weaving of the past and present, of interfaith and traditional marriage

A touching story both past and present, of King Henry' VIII's court, of the Holocaust, and of faith-based issues of the modern day.
Jun 16, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book.. Too much anti Catholic sentiments. The author seems to know alot about the Jewish faith but nothing about Catholicism.
Rose Bloomberg
Jun 24, 2011 Rose Bloomberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful read. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
Dec 30, 2013 Frankie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the interconnection of the 3 stories combined with the surprise ending. The past and the present have like themes. While not a piece of literature, it was still hard to put down.
Helene Greenstein
This was a hard book to read as subject matter of holocaust was quiet graphic . Need tissues to get through this one
Jun 03, 2012 Esther rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice portrayal of the struggle so many modern Jews have: allegiance to the family to marry within their faith, and to follow their heart which may lead them outside.
Mar 04, 2015 Kary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow goos story somewhat hard to get through the tudor history and sonnets but of couse last chapter had me bawling definately a sign of a great read
Mar 20, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story. Kept my attention. I recommend it.
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