A brilliant reconstruction of an incredible journey across medieval Europe to Egypt, and an untold story of forbidden love.
'Enthralling... A spectacular tale told with spectacular accomplishment' Sunday Times, Books of the Year
In the small village in Provence where Stefan Hertmans has made his home, people have long spoken of an ancient pogrom and hidden treasure. Then, at the end of the nineteenth century, an extraordinary collection of Jewish documents was found in a synagogue in Cairo.
Hertmans has based The Convert on these historical sources, tracing the life of a young Christian noblewoman who abandoned everything for the love of a rabbi's son. In this startlingly contemporary novel, Hertmans follows in her footsteps as the lovers flee through France together, pursued by crusading knights, and recounts her dazzling journey full of love and hardship, courage and hate, as she travels on towards Jerusalem alone.
Enthralling... A spectacular tale told with spectacular accomplishment
[An] astonishing tale… The main narrative is told in a pressing, insistent present tense and Hertmans conjures up the medieval world with the same sensuous detailing that was so effective in War and Turpentine… tense and compelling… The Covert is…extraordinarily good
An imaginative flight, full of darkness and light, lively characters, life-altering conflicts, violence and kindness
Written in an often breathless, continuous present tense, Hamoutal’s experiences are visualised following Herman’s own groudbreaking researches… David McKay’s translation is as brilliant as it is frequently brutal, and intermittently lyrical
Nearly a millennium later, Hamoutal has been remembered and honored