I recently finished Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant. This is apparently the 3rd in a series of books about Italy during the Renaissance. Its the story of Serafina, a young noblewoman who is packed off to a convent in Ferrara (near Venice) since her family could only afford one dowry and it was spent for her younger sister, who was chosen by the man the parents had found for the older girl. Serafina is frantic, hysterical, and initially violent, though apparently this reaction wasnt unknown to the convent in such cases. Most of the story is actually told from the POV of the convents medical sister, who somehow had a connection with the young woman right from the beginning.
I picked it up at Costco one Sunday afternoon, sat down on the patio to look at it and the other two books Id bought, and the next thing I knew I was at page 51. I finished the book on Monday. I recommend it highly.
If you like storys during the Renaissance, you will enjoy this one. It is fast moving and full of intrigue. Serafina is 16 and in love, she is unwillingly taken from her love and placed in a cell in the convent and rails against her inprisonment. This story holds, passion of the heart and the spirit, the power of friendship and i found it a beautiful engrossing read. The year of 1570 is such a wonder to read about. I have visions of beautiful gowns and secrets galore. Time well spent with this novel.
I LOVED this book. It was as good if not better than, The Birth of Venus, which I also loved. The amount of research that went into this book was obvious and made the story rich in detail. The author's talent kept those details from becoming tedious. Her characters were well developed and three dimensional. After being dissapointed by, In the Company of the Courtesan, I am now back to being a Sarah Dunant Fan! If you love historical stories about women's lives (this time and place is not usually written about) you will love this book. I highly recommend it!
As the sisters of an Italian convent in 1570 take on a new and unwilling novice, a story unfolds of love, as well as political intrigue within their walls.
Another winner for Sarah Dunant, who seems to really understand and relate most historical settings vibrantly.
I enjoyed learning about the life of nun's in that period, however the ending was cut too short for me. I would've liked a couple more chapters for closure of the plot.