“This anonymous novel, written about the author's ancestor, Juan Bautista Chapa, is a huge achievement: artful, substantive, and moving. It shows a man of 17th Century Mexico coming to terms with truth, memory and ambition; a man who also makes compromises, compartmentalizes his prejudices, and suppresses what he doesn't want to see. Yet Juan Bautista, a historian, fights his way through doubt, bad faith and would-be censorship of the powerful to rethink, against the grain of convention, the deeds of Spaniards in New Spain."
Richard Boyer, Professor Emeritus, Department of History,
Simon Fraser University
“The author has brought the historical figure of Juan Bautista Chapa into the literary world and gave him a voice, thus providing the reader some insight into his thoughts and motives. This is no flimsy novel nor a book of fantasy; this is a work built on true characters who walked the earth, and masterfully the author has managed to bring them to life. Once the reader becomes emotionally involved with these marvelous characters, a new dimension will open for them to feel the adventure they so marvelously encounter."
Dr. Lino Garcia, Jr., Professor Emeritus/Spanish Texas Historian,
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley"
“I must confess that when working on the Italian translation of his Cronica del Nuevo Reino de Leon, Juan Bautista was a mystery to me: who was he like? Which spiritual paths did he walk down? This new novel answers those, and more questions, in the most plausible way. The structure of the book is woven with such flair, the style is so vivid, that I found it a highly pleasurable read. Among the array of episodes and insights, the key-point to my soul was a diary entry, which Juan Bautista writes after a slave auction in Cadiz, a few years before his departure to New Spain. The note ends with a plain, yet heartrending admission of discomfort, "This world is no easy place for a heart such as mine." There began, I feel, the journey of a human soul seeking its own truth, pushing ever towards the enlightenment announced in the title."
Davide Gambino, Archivist and Italian Translator of
La Historia del Nuevo Reino de Leon