Mexico City, 1649. The Spanish Inquisition holds sway over the capital and at its core lies one ambition: the submission of all to the Catholic faith. Fray Alonso is the most zealous advocate of their mission; amidst the veiled discords of the Holy Office, his diary reveals a world where politics and sanctity are intertwined as he seeks to win the promotion that will gratify his aspirations of both stature and piety. However, outmanoeuvered by his rivals in a struggle for power, Alonso is forced to leave the city on a seemingly futile journey northward where an unlikely friendship with a captured heretic will prove the catalyst for a revolution of his assumptions. His sole prisoner, Juan, a mute, embodies a strangely magnanimous grace. Devoid of a human voice, Juan forges a mysterious connection with Alonso that speaks for something greater than words: the belief in an all-encompassing love. As Alonso is forced to question all his received values, he is left with a choice between instinctual justice and his own pride and desire: their bond proves to be simultaneously a blessing and a test. Lewis's engrossing narrative traces the search for a transcendent divine truth, which is, perhaps, beyond our comprehension. Turbulent and evocative, his tale asks ultimately; if God offers no epistemological answers, in what can we place our faith?
Jeffrey Lewis has won numerous awards for his novels including the Independent Publishers Gold Medal for Literary Fiction. He is the author of Adam the King, Meritocracy: A Love Story, The Conference of the Birds, Theme Song for an Old Show, and Berlin Cantata, all published by Haus. Lewis lives in Los Angeles and Castine, Maine.