Wednesday, September 25, 7:30 p.m.
Led by the zealous Fray Junipero Serra to the fringes of the Spanish Empire in the mid-1700s, Franciscan missionaries Francisco Palou and Juan Crespi are as fervid as their master about the opportunity posed by Alta California: to gloriously swell the kingdom of God through conversion--consensual or forced--of the native people. As Crespi and our sensitive but bitterly envious narrator, Palou, vie for Serra's fickle favor, a chain of their newly established missions creeps north up the fog-enshrouded coast from Mexico.
A master stylist and a meticulous researcher, Nick Taylor vividly captures the atmosphere of early California as he dramatizes the politics of the era: the horrifying and tragic gaps in understanding between priests and natives; the vicious power plays between crown and church; and the fervor, ambition, and desperation that fueled European settlement of the region. This novel's publication coincides with the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Junipero Serra's birth.
Join us on June 6th to learn about the power of empathy!