Doña Gracia’s Gold Pendant is a story of love, jealousy, intrigue,
mortal terror - about family secrets, courage and
devotion. This fascinating historical novel takes place in
the sixteenth century and depicts the wide-ranging journey
of Doña Gracia Nasi, a young, wealthy widow from a
family of forced converts, annusim - Jews exiled from Spain
following the Alhambra Decree.
These characters capture the hearts of readers, drawing them into the story...the language is flowing. Doña Gracia is a role model!
President of the State of Israel, Mr. Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, in a personal letter to the author
Michal Aharoni Regev exhibits impressive literary capability and a lyrical talent for painting in words, both large public events and private ones. Doña Gracia comes to life very vividly before our eyes, portrayed in confident, diverging lines.
First Source Newspaper, Havazelet Farber
In a wondrous journey, Michal Aharoni Regev follows the gold pendant of "the queen of the forced converts," a journey encompassing many countries and seas, leading the reader through a time tunnel to seek out some fascinating characters.
Prof. Aviad Hacohen, President of The Academic Center for Law and Science
From the Author
Thank you, readers for choosing to read this novel and taking part in a story depicting the triumph of the human spirit: the story of Doña Gracia Nasi, a woman who changed the world.
I wrote my book in acknowledgment of and admiration for the courageous actions of Doña Gracia Nasi, a woman of vision and initiative, who risked her life and her immense fortune in order to save her family, and in service of the values of mutual responsibility and a shared fate among Jews and the annusim, the forced converts. She was a businesswoman in a male-dominated world, acting out of the deep inner conviction that if she did not act to save her brethren, the secret Jews--the annusim, not one Jew would be left in the world.
She was a woman who was ahead of her time, forecasting the return to Zion, the Land of Israel, and taking action to settle the Jews in their country.
I hope to share with you the torch of the victorious spirit of Judaism and the life story and heroism of Doña Gracia and the annusim who, despite the persecution of the Inquisition and the threat of auto-de-fé (burning at the stake) risked their lives to secretly preserve their Judaism and their culture so that "the candle of the People of Israel shall never go out" and "the chain of generations shall remain unbroken."
The vision and deeds of Doña Gracia are a model for every person, teaching us that any of us can alter our lives, create a change in society, defeat the forces of evil, and create a better world in which to live.
Doña Gracia's life is comprised of a mosaic of public and private events, including impressive successes and echoing failures. My life, too, is a tapestry of hopes, accomplishments, and disappointments, ultimately leaving me with the question: what have I achieved during my years on earth.
My wish is that we can all follow in the light of Doña Gracia.
The novel is dedicated to Doña Gracia Nasi's memory, and was written in memory of one of my ancestors, Rabbi Abba, who died a martyr's death when he refused to convert.
Michal Aharoni Regev writes books that make you want to change your life and take your fate and the fate of your loved ones into your own hands. When she is not busy writing and lecturing, Michal likes to walk and travel with friends, pamper her family with her homemade delicacies, spend time with her grandchildren in museums, dine in restaurants, shop, and sit on the beach watching the waves.
Michal writes in the early morning hours, when the first rays of sunlight appear and the birds are chirping in the garden. Her preferred genres are historical novels and fantasies that focus on powerful women and heroes embarking on quests in distant worlds, realistic and fantastical. Her characters encounter travails and obstacles while exhibiting courage, vision, determination, and initiative.
Michal is a member of the Israeli Ministry of Arts and Culture. She has worked as a school principal, a lecturer, a teacher, and the CEO of a fashion marketing company in South Africa. She was raised in a home in which a literary salon was held; there stories of courage were told by her mother and father, a writer and warrior.
Michal has been widowed and currently has a second life partner. She has one daughter and three sons and is also a grandmother.