Incantation by Alice Hoffman
Reviewed by Lisa Doyle-Redmond
Incantation is Alice Hoffman’s sixth novel for young adults and it is an enchantingly written and haunting tale of a young girl’s experiences of friendship, love and betrayal aimed at readers aged twelve and upwards.
Incantation tells the story of Estrella de Madrigal who is fifteen and her best friend Catalina. The girls are inseparable until a strange and dangerous time begins, the burning time. For Estrella and Catalina live in Spain in the sixteenth century and the country is being cleansed of the hated Jews. As the story unfolds Estrella falls in love with Andres but he is promised to Catalina and jealousy causes a rift in their friendship. Estrella also begins to understand the secrets of her family and her heritage and as Catalina seeks her revenge, the de Madrigal family pay a terrible price.
This is a powerful book highlighting the evil effects of intolerance and hate. It is also a beautiful story of a young girl’s journey to self knowledge, wisdom and adulthood. It was chosen by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the top ten teen books of the year for 2006 and it is one not to be missed.