Loading Events

« All Events

TBA Book Club-Anthing But Yes, A Novel of Anna Del Monte, Jewish Citizen of Rome, 1749

May 20 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Wewill meet again on Monday, May 20, at 7:30 pm, via Zoom, to discuss thenovel Anything But Yes, ANovel of Anna Del Monte, Jewish Citizen of Rome, 1749, by Joie Davidow. It is233 pages and was published in October, 2023.  It will be next toimpossible to get the actual book from the library. There seem to be only fourcopies available through Link+, and they are all spoken for. Nevertheless, we arein luck, as the book is available through Hoopla, https://www.hoopladigital.com/search?q=anything+but+yes&scope=everything&type=directHoopla has both anaudiobook and an ebook version. The book is available for purchase, and thereis a Kindle edition.


Anything But Yes, A Novel of Anna Del Monte, Jewish Citizen of Rome, 1749,by Joie Davidow


“An intricately detailednovel of resistance and community.” —Kirkus Reviews

Thisbeautiful new work of historical fiction was inspired by the diary of an18th-century Roman Jewish girl who was imprisoned in a convent cell by theCatholic Church in an attempt to forcibly convert her.

Anything butYes is the true story of a young woman’s struggle to defendher identity in the face of relentless attempts to destroy it. In 1749,eighteen-year-old Anna del Monte was seized at gunpoint from her home in theJewish ghetto of Rome and thrown into a convent cell at the Casa deiCatecumeni, the house of converts. With no access to the outside world, shewithstood endless lectures, threats, promises, isolation and sleep deprivation.If she were to utter the simple word “yes,” she risked forced baptism, whichwould mean never returning to her home, and total loss of contact with anyJew—mother, father, brother, sister—for the rest of her life. 

Even in Rome, very few people know the story ofthe Ghetto or the abduction of Jews, the story of popes ever more intent onconverting every non-Catholic living in the long shadow of the Vatican. Younggirls and small children were the primary targets. They were vulnerable, easilyconfused, gullible. Anna del Monte was different. She was strong, brilliant,educated, and wrote adiary of her experiences. The document was lost for more than 200 hundredyears, then rediscovered in 1989. Anythingbut Yes is also based on Davidow’s extensive research onlife in the eighteenth-century Roman ghetto, its traditions, food,personalities, and dialect.



May 20
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category: