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December 03 , 2010

Terra Incognita


Terra Incognita. For the medieval Catalan navigators the term meant an uncharted territory that inspired either fear or the thrill of adventure. But for the characters of this new novel by award-winning author Libi Astaire, “terra incognita” is a place inside the soul. It is a place drifting in the dreamy waters of an almost forgotten past; a place that is about to collide with an anxious, uncertain future.

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The story revolves around the Bonet family, who live in a tiny Catalan village called Sant Joan Januz. Vidal Bonet is a young businessman determined to revive his dying village by building a luxury resort. His grandfather, Miquel, is just as determined to keep the village locked away from strangers and their prying eyes.

Their battle for the future of Sant Joan Januz is further complicated by the arrival of a Jewish-American graduate student from Kansas, Chaim Green, who is sure the villagers are his long-lost relatives. And, finally, there is Clara Bonet, who has reluctantly taken on the role of the family’s matriarch just when the village’s long buried secret is accidentally uncovered: They are all descendents of Anusim – Spanish Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity during the Middle Ages.

Both poignant and comic, Terra Incognita is a journey of personal discovery that will resonate with anyone who has ever gone on a quest to discover their past – or who has ever lain awake at night wondering where in the world they are going.

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