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The Bookseller's Sonnets
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The Bookseller's Sonnets

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  138 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A mysterious package from an anonymous artifact donor arrives on the desk of Jill Levin, the senior curator at a Holocaust museum: a secret diary, written by the eldest daughter of St. Thomas More, legal advisor to and close friend of Henry VIII. As Jill and her colleagues work to authenticate this rare find, letters arrive to convey the manuscript's history and the donor'...more
Paperback, 322 pages
Published September 16th 2010 by Roundfire Books (first published May 11th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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thewanderingjew
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...more
Debrah
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
Pat Timpanaro
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...more
Donald
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
Marjorie
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
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!
Patricia Pickett
Good book.

The book brought out the pain and agony of the Jewish people. It also really showed how your family tree may surprise you. I found the story very interesting and informative. It opened my eyes about the Jewish faith and it's people.
Lori
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
Joyce Eisenberg
The book was engaging but not great, a bit contrived, I thought.
Amy
Enjoyable, interesting premise, bit predictable.
Marianne Slevin
Great book about the Holocaust.
Holly
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.
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.
Jessica
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!
Donna
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.
Frankie
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.
Judy
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.
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.
Esther
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.
Andrea
A great book.. Too much anti Catholic sentiments. The author seems to know alot about the Jewish faith but nothing about Catholicism.
Nancy
Really good story of Jewish persecution and love and survival through several different stories in different time periods.
K
I liked the story but I read it on my kindle and it was a little confusing at times.
Tina
Very interesting. Not at all what I expected. Nice to read a different kind of story.
Maureen  & Family
Great read!!! Loved it!!!! Recommend it highly to all my friends :o)
Susan Snyder
I knew where it was going, but somehow didn't mind.
Rose Bloomberg
Wonderful read. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
Amy
Good story. Kept my attention. I recommend it.
Dawn
Dawn marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2014
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