The St. Augustine Record
The St. Augustine Record
After surviving a shipwreck and finding her way to Golden Age Amsterdam, beautiful and clever but naive Isabela Calderón returns to her 17th-century Spanish village at age seventeen to fulfill the destiny her deceased father set in motion at her birth. When she finds her beloved childhood home altered and life with her husband unbearable, Isabela seeks solace from a healer cook, a mysterious, erudite tailor of unknown origin, and her husband's long-term mistress who hides a threatening secret.
Isolated and distraught when illness and the Inquisition destroy these precious friendships, she again sets sail - this time with her two children - to the New World towns of San Agustín and New Amsterdam. While serving as a language interpreter in a dingy jail cell, she reconnects with the engaging and attentive Dutch artist, Pieter Hals, with whom she spent a memorable evening a decade earlier. At the time she was suddenly wrenched away from the Amsterdam orphans in her care, Pieter had begun painting her portrait. Now when the possibility of a renewed and joyful relationship looms, while the unfinished youthful portrait beckons from its attic perch across the sea in Amsterdam, obstacles and self-doubt continue to block Isabela's path to self-fulfillment and happiness.
Marion Vernon’s review in The St. Augustine Record
"While the adventures and challenges Isabela Calderon undergoes form the framework of her story, author Judith White has enriched the tale with insights into the cultures, customs and religions that dominate life in the late 17th century."
"If a trilogy can be compared to a symphony, then this second movement flows like an andante cantabile. It develops multiple themes in different parts of the seventeenth-century world and weaves them beautifully together. The rhythm is mesmerizing, and the images of various cultures impinging on each other are wondrous, clear and precise, like the Dutch paintings of those times."
"At the end of "The Seventh Etching", I was left hanging, wanting to know what was going to happen to Isabela, a sensitive young woman who deserved the best. This second book in the trilogy swept me along in the upheavals of Isabela's life as she was abducted from Amsterdam, thrown into the midst of the Spanish Inquisition, and taken to the New World. It is a fast-paced gripping story with exquisitely drawn characters, both male and female, that reflect the variety and complexity of human motivations and relationships. I found myself tensing, hating, loving, nodding in understanding, and weeping as I read, and wishing that Book Three were already in print."
A Journey Through Life and Time
"Judith White's sequel to her "Seventh Etching" is one of the best historical novels I have ever read. As the 17 year-old Isabela matures while being swept along by life from her 17th century Amsterdam village and her abusive husband in Spain, across the Ocean to the new World (and a new life) in ‘San Agustín’, and then on to New Amsterdam, the depth of Ms. White's research lends a surprising and very real 4th dimensional journey through time and through many well etched personal relationships. During Isabela's exquisite character development, she manages to become an unusually strong woman (especially for that period of time), and sets a wonderful example for all of us to follow about how to think independently and how to act courageously. A “5 – Star” read, for sure!"
I've been completely engrossed in the book and enjoyed it more than anything I've read in years
"I earlier read The Seventh Etching and reluctantly finished Isabela today. Now I feel down in the dumps. I've been completely engrossed in the book and enjoyed it more than anything I've read in years. I read a downloaded copy, but now I plan to buy a hard copy, give it to my cousin who is also an avid reader, and ask her to return it to me to add to my permanent collection that includes signed Grishams and others. I'm sending a plea to author, Judith K. White, to proceed with the next installment of Amsterdam Trilogy without delay."