So far I have noticed that all the books which take place in the middle ages or even later are the ones that I have disliked. I try to keep an open mind and I’m definitely sure that there will be a novel which is based in the middle ages that I will love but so far this has eluded me. Unfortunately The Heretic will have to join the ‘unenjoyable read’ list.
The year is 1560 and the Catholic church is going through a lot of unrest. On the day that Martin Luther nails the 95 theses on a church door in Wittenburg, Cipriano Salcedo is born in Valladolid, Spain. From the start his father abandons him and he is under the care of his wet-nurse Minervina.
Cipriano is a fairly bright child and becomes a successful businessman, however the reformation (which is well underway) attracts him and he abandons Catholicism and joins the revolutionaries. This leads to his arrest, trial and death. There’s also a small twist at the end which involves his past and present clashing in an ugly manner.
Historically the novel is accurate, As a theology student I had to study the Inquisition, Reformation and Counter-Reformation in detail and Delibes gets that down excellently but I just could not appreciate the story. I got bored many times and I had to force myself to read – something I hate doing. At a certain point I did not really care if Cipriano was just a victim of a certain type of mentality. I just wanted it all to end.
I wish I could love every book that passes through my hands but I have to come one I dislike now and then.