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Sacred Hearts: A Novel by Sarah Dunant

Sacred Hearts: A Novel (2009)

by Sarah Dunant

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3891228,010 (3.83)141
  1. 10
    Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice (kraaivrouw)
  2. 00
    Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (charl08)
    charl08: Similar theme Italy, forced entry to a convent and women's battle for independence.
  3. 00
    The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga (VenusofUrbino)
  4. 00
    The Miracles of Prato [MIRACLES OF PRATO] [Hardcover] by Laurie Albanese (saratoga99)
    saratoga99: Another example of once wealthy families without sufficent dowries who sent daughters to convents.
  5. 00
    Mariana by Katherine Vaz (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: Another historical tale of a woman who enters a convent against her will. Mariana is set in Portugal, and is based on possible historical fact.
  6. 00
    Lying Awake by Mark Salzman (derelicious)

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» See also 141 mentions

English (119)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (122)
Showing 1-5 of 119 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have never yet been disappointed by Sarah Dunant's richly drawn, impeccably researched historical fiction, and Sacred Hearts was no exception. There is SO much detail it feels like being enveloped in the cloistered life as soon as the reader opens the first page. Dunant sets the stage methodically through the first sections of the book, with the end picking up steam and reaching an extremely satisfying climax. Really great historical fiction. ( )
  NeedMoreShelves | Aug 1, 2018 |
I was so looking forward to this book as I loved her last 2, but this was pretty boring! Way too much info on convent life, too little about anything else. It was interesting, but only for so long. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Set in an Italian convent during the Reformation. Interesting characters, structure of convents, why women entered the convents, etc. ( )
  sraelling | May 6, 2018 |
Dark and detailed. ( )
  lisahistory | Oct 3, 2017 |
Beautiful book on convent living in renaissance times. I loved that the author included references at the end to her research! ( )
  dovegirl | Sep 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 119 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Dunantprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ortelio, MassimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Before the screaming starts, the night silence of the convent is already alive with its own particular sounds.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In 16th-century Italy, the convents are filled with the daughters of noblemen who are unable or unwilling to pay a dowry to marry them off. The Santa Caterina convent's newest novice, Serafina, is miserable, having been shunted off by her father to separate her from a forbidden romance. She also has a singing voice that will be the glory of the convent and—more importantly to some—a substantial bonus for the convent's coffers. The convent's apothecary, Suora Zuana, strikes up a friendship with Serafina, enlisting her as an assistant in the convent dispensary and herb garden, but despite Zuana's attempts to help the girl adjust, Serafina remains focused on escaping. Serafina's constant struggle and her faith (of a type different from that common to convents) challenge Zuana's worldview and the political structure of Santa Caterina. A cast of complex characters breathe new life into the classic star-crossed lovers trope while affording readers a look at a facet of Renaissance life beyond the far more common viscounts and courtesans. Dunant's an accomplished storyteller, and this is a rich and rewarding novel.

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The year is 1570, and in the convent of Santa Caterina, in the Italian city of Ferrara, noblewomen find space to pursue their lives under God's protection. But any community, however smoothly run, suffers tremors when it takes in someone by force. And the arrival of Santa Caterina's new novice sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the convent to its core.… (more)

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