Josefina’s Sin

Written by Claudia H. Long
Review by Wisteria Leigh

A perplexing prologue draws the reader into this lusty story of Josefina María del Carmen Asturias, who became the wife of Don Manuel de Castillo, a landowner in Mexico. The reader will not discover until the final pages how she came to be stricken with a palsy that leaves her mute and lame. She is tended in a convent by Doña Angélica, her husband’s mistress, and even still she yearns for her husband. She is but 27, and on slips of paper, she begins to write.

In the year 1689, when Josefina arrives at the Court of the Marquesa and her salacious husband, the Marqués, little does she know that the short time at court will feel like a lifetime. Educated by nuns, separated from Manuel, consumed by forbidden love, subjected to despicable, depraved carnal acts and the grip of the Spanish Inquisition, she can now tell her story. She must write to heal from her sins.

The author was inspired to write this story by the subject of her senior thesis, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Sor Juana was a controversial writer of poems, plays and sonnets, and the poems published in Josefina’s Sin are hers. Even in the shadows of the Inquisition, her bold words promoted the right for women to be educated. A 17th-century feminist, she chose to be a nun to pursue her passion for knowledge and writing. The author brings the two women together when Sor Juana becomes Josefina’s mentor and rival. Sensually spicy, Josefina’s Sin is a woman’s journey of personal discovery and pain that will beguile you with temptation and curiosity – truly unforgettable.