Provenance

Two ancient books link the lives and dreams of ordinary people across centuries. The backgrounds, locales, and the books—a definitive Hebrew bible and an unusual prayer book for women—are real. Seamlessly blending history and fiction, Provenance is a mystery and an unforgettable story of love, passion, yearning, and trust.


“An amazing voyage through layers of history. Florence has a mastery of combining facts and fiction to evoke a powerful sense of character and a wondrously atmospheric sense of places and times. One of the best novels I have read in years.”

— Katharina Galor, Brown University



“Florence’s inventiveness sounds a magical voice that makes the pages of Jewish history breathe and sing.”

Jewish Voice & Herald



“In Provenance, acclaimed author Ronald Florence deploys his formidable talents as a historian and raconteur to weave together an intricate tale of an unusual women’s prayer book and a cherished medieval Hebrew bible manuscript, the Crown of Aleppo, whose survival to modernity is both perilous and virtually miraculous. As the Crown travels across centuries from Egypt to Provence to Aleppo, Israel and Brooklyn, its fate interweaves and transforms the lives of a rich array of characters, each enchantingly evoked by Florence’s elegant prose. An illuminating read.”

— Ross S. Kraemer, author of Unreliable Witnesses



“This is what I call ‘literature—when there is both ‘le fond et la forme,’ when one travels in time and places, when the author's ‘erudition’ is made even more enjoyable thanks to his sense of humor and a slight distance. I can't wait to read Ronald's other novels …”

—Catherine Saubion, Bordeaux, France