The Conquest Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Conquest

HarperCollins, 2002, 24.95, 288 pp.
ISBN: 0060093595

Sara Rosario Gonzales works as a rare-book restorer at Los Angeles' Getty Museum. Her current assignment is to mend a sixteenth century manuscript, the story of “Helen” an Aztec woman Cortez sent as a present to the Pope.
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Upset in her personal life as her marine boyfriend is going to marry someone else because she failed to commit, Sara buries her unhappiness inside the restoration project. She soon believes that the story of the Aztec female is authentic, but everyone else insists its fiction. She begins researching clues to this Helen, her baptized name the Aztec received in Rome. For the first time in her shallow life, Sara commits to something with her heart as she seeks the truth whether Helen the Aztec really existed and had these wonderful adventures in Europe.

The contrast between Helen and Sara is startling as the former lives life to the fullest and the latter avoids life to the least degree yet both share in common a feeling of displacement. Obviously Helen's is easier to observe, but Sara's Latino heritage makes her feel out of sorts also. Sara's search for the truth links the two subplots neatly together. Though at times the tale slows down, fans obtain an intriguing character study that compares how two people living centuries apart share the same feelings of not belonging.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Conquest

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   vague finding self/purpose in life (i.e. no plot to book) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   slave Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Hispanic/Latinic


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   Mexico

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Yxta Maya Murray Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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