In 1492, The Inquisition was sweeping through Spain. Jews (who had lived in Spain since the Romans ruled) and other non believers were given two choices: convert to Catholicism or leave quickly. While many chose to stay and converted, others left. Sadly, some perished on the journey out of Spain or during the many pogroms that led up to the forced expulsion.
In The Last Jew, Yonah Toledano is the 15 year old son of a respected silversmith. His father and elder brother are already dead. His only option is to take on the identity of an old Christian and becomes a Marrano. The pressure to keep up the image of being an old Christian while secretly clinging to his Jewish faith requires Yonah to play a game that if not played properly, might force him to reveal his true identity.
What I enjoy about this book is the tension. Noah Gordon keeps the tension going from the first page to the last. While the initial research is there, it is weaved into the story in a way that keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end.
I recommend this book.