What They Said About Luisa - Dundurn

What They Said About Luisa

Available May 21st 2024


An enchanting tale of the complex and fascinating life of Luisa Abrego of Seville, an emancipated woman who forges a new future for herself in colonial Mexico and gets caught in the Spanish Inquisition.

Luisa Abrego, an enslaved woman in Seville, is impregnated by her master, then set free upon his death. With limited options for her future, Luisa agrees to marry a white man who wants to take her with him to Mexico, even though it means leaving her infant son behind in the care of nuns. The couple set off on a dangerous sea voyage and a perilous trek across unconquered territory, and when the settlers’ caravan is attacked by Indigenous warriors, Luisa is forced to kill a man in self-defence. Years later, still wracked with guilt and convinced she must atone for her sin, Luisa confesses to having made a promise of marriage to another man long before, in Spain. By the laws of the church this makes her a bigamist, a criminal who must be tried by the fearsome Inquisition.

Based on sixteenth-century trial records of the real Luisa, this novel is not just one woman’s life in fragments but a carefully researched imagining, told in the vivid, distinct voices of the Europeans who came into contact with her.



Erika Rummel

Erika Rummel has taught at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto. She has published numerous books on Renaissance history and is the author of nine novels. A recipient of international awards and fellowships, she divides her time between Toronto and Los Angeles.

Book Details

May 2024
5.5x8.5 in
312 pp
May 2024
312 pp
May 2024
312 pp