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Hunting Midnight
21-10-2010

http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/features/article63900.eceFrom the internationally bestselling author of The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon comes a novel of incomparable scope and beauty, which takes the reader on an epic journey from war-ravaged 19th century Europe to antebellum America. In lush, luminous prose, Richard Zimler has written a dazzling work of historical fiction, played out against a backdrop of war and chaos, that unforgettably mines the mysteries of devotion, betrayal, guilt and forgiveness.

At the dawn of the 19th century in Portugal, John Zarco Stewart is an impish child of hot-headed emotions and playful inquisitiveness, the unwitting inheritor of a faith shrouded in three hundred years of secrecy – for the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula have been in hiding since the Inquisition. But a season of loss and bitter discovery brings his innocence to an abrupt end. It is only the ministrations of a magical stranger, brought to Porto by his seafaring father, that restores his safety: Midnight, an African healer and freed slave, the man who will become John's greatest friend and determine the course of his destiny.

When Napoleon's armies invade Portugal, violence again intrudes on John's fragile peace, and seals his passage into adulthood with another devastating loss. But from the wreckage comes revelation as he uncovers truths and lies hidden by the people he loved and trusted most, and discovers the act of unspeakable betrayal that destroyed his family – and his faith. And so his shattering quest begins as he travels to America, to hunt for hope in a land shackled by unforgivable sin.

With stunning insight and an eye for rich historical detail – from the colorful marketplaces of Porto to the drowsy plantations of the American South, from the Judaism John discovers as a young man to the mystical Africa that Midnight conjures from his memories – in HUNTING MIDNIGHT Richard Zimler has crafted a masterpiece.

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