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WHAT’S THE STORY ? Money, Intrigue, and Religion in the 17th Century


David Liss’s The Coffee Trader, set in 17th century Amsterdam, describes the life of Miguel Lienzo, a Portuguese Jewish man who is trying to rebuild his wealth after his investment with sugar goes south.  Miguel meets many mysterious characters including a wealthy dutch widow and a fellow Portuguese Jew under cherem, or excommunication, who introduce him to an exciting new venture. Coffee. In his venture to regain his wealth and reputation he is met on all sides with underhanded schemes, blackmail, and threats while trying not to disgrace his Jewish nation. He must discover who his real enemy is before he loses even more, and is forced to flee the city. Fortunately no one is as good as Miguel at lies and escaping notice. The Inquisition made sure of that.  Will Miguel triumph and make it big? Or will his enemies prevail in grinding him into nothing?

By: Katelyn Scott and Adele Robinson


About atrobinson2013

I am a 43 year old mother of 7 and grandmother of 3. I love art, reading, and kids. I enrolled in college at age 42 and decided to take 2 majors (English and Graphic Design). My kids range in age from 26 - 6 so they keep me very active (and hopefully modernish).

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