"1492" is a historical novel by Mary Johnson. The story is written from the first-person perspective of a man named Jayme de Marchena, who is a member of the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.
The novel follows the events leading up to Columbus's journey to the New World, as well as the aftermath of his discovery. Marchena is initially skeptical of Columbus's plans, but he becomes convinced of their feasibility after meeting with the explorer.
As Columbus sets sail on his journey, Marchena accompanies him as an interpreter and diplomat. Along the way, they encounter numerous obstacles, including storms, mutiny, and hostile indigenous peoples.
After arriving in the New World, Marchena witnesses the devastation wrought by European colonization on the indigenous peoples. He struggles with his conscience, torn between his loyalty to the Spanish crown and his growing awareness of the atrocities being committed.
The novel culminates in Marchena's decision to leave the court and join the Franciscan order, in order to work towards a more just and humane treatment of the indigenous peoples.
Overall, "1492" is a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of history and the moral dilemmas that arise from the clash of cultures. Through Marchena's experiences, Johnson sheds light on the devastating consequences of European colonization, while also highlighting the potential for redemption and transformation.