Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Wiseman, Eva. Another Me. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2016.
The setting is 14th century Strasbourg where the Jews are accused of poisoning the well water. Kaspar the butcher and his friends have begun persecuting the Jewish community. A Jewish boy named Natan became fascinated with Elena, the daughter of another draper but one who is fair. When Natan confronts Kaspar's gang about what he saw, he is killed and becomes an "ibbur," residing inside the body of Hans, Elena's father's apprentice. Soon the bubonic plague breaks out in the city, while the persecution continues. I am a huge fan of historical fiction, and this title sounded very promising. However, when the plot took on the "ghostly" element, my enjoyment plunged. To be fair to the author, the concept of the "ibbur" began to take hold in the late 13th century. I just felt it was unnecessary in this plot and the plot would be stronger had she allowed Natan to escape. I found the plot implausible. I enjoyed the historical parts about the persecution of the Jews and about the bubonic plague; however, I felt Wiseman's writing was not all that strong. The book is a bit of a mixed bag with some parts enjoyable and others not and with some parts plausible and others not. I received an electronic e-galley of the book from the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.