Bookseller's Sonnets, The

Bookseller's Sonnets, The

A secret diary, written by the eldest daughter of Thomas More, legal advisor to and close friend of Henry VIII, intertwines three love stories with a tale of religious identity and mystery spanning 500 years and three countries


A mysterious package from an anonymous artifact donor arrives on the desk of Jill Levin, the senior curator at a Holocaust museum: a secret diary, written by the eldest daughter of St. Thomas More, legal advisor to and close friend of Henry VIII. As Jill and her colleagues work to authenticate this rare find, letters arrive to convey the manuscript's history and the donor's unimaginable story of survival. At the same time, representatives from the Archdiocese of New York arrive to stake their claim to this controversial document, hoping to send it to a Vatican archive before its explosive content becomes public. As the process of authentication hovers between find and fraud, and as the battle for provenance plays out between religious institutions, Jill struggles with her own family history, and her involvement in a relationship she fears will disrupt and disappoint her family. The stories told in the manuscript and letters, however, soon entwine to reveal the secrets that unlock the mysteries of the Tudor court, and the untold history of Jill's own heritage.


Is this another historical romance novel about the role of women and Jews in an earlier historical period? No, The Bookseller's Sonnets is not another Rashi's Daughters or The Fruit of Her Hands, though if you enjoyed those books you'll probably like this one even more. What makes this book different is the way it looks at Jewish life in the present day, refreshingly honest in its portrayal of people in interfaith relationships and interfaith families in today's Jewish community. The writing captures the nuances of a Jewish experience from a perspective most Jews usually don't hear.

~ Ruth Abrams, Editor of

Andi Rosenthal’s ‘Booksellers Sonnets’ is gripping historical mystery with a twist. We would happily recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book or Peter Manseau’s Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter—to anyone, in fact, who enjoys a good story told well.

~ Joseph's Bookstore, London

The Bookseller’s Sonnets grabbed me from the first few pages...  Tying together the Tudor era, the Holocaust and today in one story takes a gifted writer. Simply said – one of my favorite books this year.

~ The Printed Page

Author Andi Rosenthal deftly weaves together past and present in this wonderful debut novel...Rosenthal's writing is crisp and fluid, and I couldn't wait to get home from work every night and crawl back into this world she created. It is a true page turner. 

~ Capone's Hit List (blog)



Rosenthal writes well and manages to juggle her many plots and subplots with ease. For me, the most suspenseful part of “The Bookseller’s Sonnets” was Margaret’s journal, although the tale of the Holocaust survivor ran a close second. Yet, all the characters’ stories are convincingly told. Although I solved the mystery of the donor’s identity early, her tale still generated surprises. The one question debated by Jill and her mother at the end of the book (which can’t be revealed without spoiling the plot) seems to me to have a simpler answer than offered by either character, but that’s a minor quibble. “The Bookseller’s Sonnets” is perfect for book clubs, since it should generate discussions of people’s obligations to  themselves versus their responsibilities to their families.

~ Rabbi Rachel Esserman, The Reporter of Vestal, NY. and

Rosenthal is as adept at evoking fifteenth century England and Nazi-infested Europe as she is at chronicling her own time. The surprise ending is a tour de force as global wisdom trumps anachronistic chauvinism. This brilliant book, a bona fide page turner, is about how to be a woman, a daughter and a Jew, no less than it explores how to be a principled human being. The Bookseller's Sonnets is an extraordinary achievement.

~ Joan Mellen, Author of A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination, and The Case That Should Have Changed History

The Bookseller's Sonnets seduces readers with its gripping suspense and captivating characters. Andi Rosenthal's modern-day mystery seamlessly weaves together multiple story lines in three different eras, taking readers on an unforgettable journey. With her potent combination of poetry and prose, testimony and truth, Rosenthal crafts a story about religious identity and relationships that enables readers on embark on own their journey of self-discovery. I dare you to be able to put this book down! ~ Sally Srok Friedes, author of The New Jew: An Unexpected Conversion

Andi Rosenthal
Andi Rosenthal Andi Rosenthal received a degree in Literature of the Holocaust at the University of Delaware, and an MA in Creative Writing from Temple Uni...
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