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  • A Problematic Historical Novel

    This sounds like exactly the sort of book I would have enjoyed, but there were plenty of problematic things about it that took away from my enjoyment of it. I did like that the hero was a Jewish doctor, and I love books about medicine throughout history, so that aspect I found interesting. It was disheartening how the heroine only cared about the plight of Jews in Europe once she met and fell in love with the hero. It made her desire for change seem insincere and selfish, since she had never cared to look outside her privileged position before that day. The book also somewhat diminished the complicity the nobles would have had in participating in anti-semitism. I also found that the descriptions of female bodies was very predatory for a romance novel. The descriptions seemed to be written for the male gaze rather than a literary purpose. Also, some of the descriptions of sexual harassment, rape, and survivors of this were bad and insensitive. I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't.

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