I love it when a novel inspires me to conduct extra research, and in The Weight of Ink there was plenty of material which demanded further investigation, like The Great Plague of London, Spinoza, and Shakespeare’s Dark Lady.
Now you may prefer to read a book that requires no additional effort on your part other than enjoyment! No worries, The Weight of Ink is a brilliant and engaging work of historical fiction that can be appreciated without once initiating a Google search! (I’m just nerdy that way!)
Set in seventeenth-century and early twenty-first-century London, The Weight of Ink is the story of two women, Ester Velasquez an emigrant from Amsterdam who scribes for a blind rabbi, and Helen a modern-day Jewish scholar.
Their stories intersect when Helen finds a remarkable trove of seventeenth-century Jewish documents in a home in London. Piecing together the story behind the documents, Helen enlists the help of a young American academic Aaron Levy.
Suspenseful as any mystery novel, The Weight of Ink is an atmospheric, absorbing read not unlike Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book or A.S. Byatt’s Possession. Highly recommend!
WHAT OTHER REVIEWERS SAY
Toni Morrison: “A gifted writer, astonishingly adept at nuance, narration, and the politics of passion.”
WHO WROTE IT
Rachel Kadish is the award-winning author of the novels From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times, Ploughshares, and Tin House. The Weight of Ink won a National Jewish Book Award in 2017.