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Sacred Hearts: A Novel
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Published:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group 2009
Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
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.
Ripped by her family from an illicit love affair, sixteen-year-old Serafina is willful, emotional, sharp, and defiant–young enough to have a life to look forward to and old enough to know when that life is being cut short. Her first night inside the walls is spent in an incandescent rage so violent that the dispensary mistress, Suora Zuana, is dispatched to the girl’s cell to sedate her. Thus begins a complex relationship of trust and betrayal between the young rebel and the clever, scholarly nun, for whom the girl becomes the daughter she will never have.
As Serafina rails against her incarceration, others are drawn into the drama: the ancient, mysterious Suora Magdalena–with her history of visions and ecstasies–locked in her cell; the ferociously devout novice mistress Suora Umiliana, who comes to see in the postulant a way to extend her influence; and, watching it all, the abbess, Madonna Chiara, a woman as fluent in politics as she is in prayer. As disorder and rebellion mount, it is the abbess’s job to keep the convent stable while, outside its walls, the dictates of the Counter-Reformation begin to purge the Catholic Church and impose on the nunneries a regime of terrible oppression.
Sarah Dunant, the bestselling author of The Birth of Venus and In the Company of the Courtesan, brings this intricate Renaissance world compellingly to life. Amid Sacred Hearts is a rich, engrossing, multifaceted love story, encompassing the passions of the flesh, the exultation of the spirit, and the deep, enduring power of friendship.
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Street Date:
07/14/2009
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781415964156
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Sarah Dunant. (2009). Sacred Hearts: A Novel. Unabridged Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Sarah Dunant. 2009. Sacred Hearts: A Novel. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Sarah Dunant, Sacred Hearts: A Novel. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2009.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Sarah Dunant. Sacred Hearts: A Novel. Unabridged Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2009.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Sep 24, 2020 11:42:50
Date Updated:
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title
Sacred Hearts
fullDescription
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.
Ripped by her family from an illicit love affair, sixteen-year-old Serafina is willful, emotional, sharp, and defiant–young enough to have a life to look forward to and old enough to know when that life is being cut short. Her first night inside the walls is spent in an incandescent rage so violent that the dispensary mistress, Suora Zuana, is dispatched to the girl’s cell to sedate her. Thus begins a complex relationship of trust and betrayal between the young rebel and the clever, scholarly nun, for whom the girl becomes the daughter she will never have.
As Serafina rails against her incarceration, others are drawn into the drama: the ancient, mysterious Suora Magdalena–with her history of visions and ecstasies–locked in her cell; the ferociously devout novice mistress Suora Umiliana, who comes to see in the postulant a way to extend her influence; and, watching it all, the abbess, Madonna Chiara, a woman as fluent in politics as she is in prayer. As disorder and rebellion mount, it is the abbess’s job to keep the convent stable while, outside its walls, the dictates of the Counter-Reformation begin to purge the Catholic Church and impose on the nunneries a regime of terrible oppression.
Sarah Dunant, the bestselling author of The Birth of Venus and In the Company of the Courtesan, brings this intricate Renaissance world compellingly to life. Amid Sacred Hearts is a rich, engrossing, multifaceted love story, encompassing the passions of the flesh, the exultation of the spirit, and the deep, enduring power of friendship.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly, starred review
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post
      • content: "Dunant's brilliant imagination is at its powerful best as she re-creates the routines, the crotchets and tiny details of convent life in 1570. The reader can hear the rustle of nuns' habits and the murmur of their prayers....[a] captivating novel...packed with complex relationships, passion, sorrow and religious devotion....this novel unequivocally does what fiction is supposed to do and rarely does: It takes us to a place we could never personally experience. Dunant creates such a living and tangible environment, built on meticulous yet unobtrusive research, that she shares with us the joys and sorrows, the frustration and anger, the rebellion, submission and sometimes even the presence of God."
      • premium: False
      • source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
      • content: "A great read that throws a light in a hidden corner of history, with a bonus: Although written for a secular crowd, it never discounts the possibility of miracles."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Globe
      • content: "Engrossing.... Dunant brings the period vividly to life, portraying in detail the complex, claustrophobic world of the convent."
      • premium: False
      • source: Elle
      • content: "Original, engrossing, meticulously researched, this is a fascinating tale....This novel has everything: period detail, political intrigue, love, mystery, social strife, and epic cattiness."
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Rosalyn Landor's hushed voice perfectly renders the lives of the women who inhabit the sixteenth-century Benedictine convent of Santa Caterina. This story has two heroines. Sixteen-year-old Serafina, newly confined, seeks to renew the romance her father quelled. Landor creates Serafina's sense of entrapment and her furtive quest to regain control of her life. The second, older, heroine, Suora Zuanna, the convent's medicinal mistress, serves as contrast. Landor gives her a calmness born out of her gratitude that she can explore the many remedies her beloved father once taught her. As the women's relationship develops, Landor fosters an air of agitation and restlessness that undermines Suora Zuanna's serenity. The author's research on Renaissance customs and the plight of women during that time is not lost in this nuanced reading. S.W. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2009
        Dunant (The Birth of Venus
        ) revisits 16th-century Italy, where 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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shortDescription
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.

Ripped by her family from an illicit love affair, sixteen-year-old Serafina is willful, emotional, sharp, and defiant–young enough to have a life to look forward to and old enough to know when that life is being cut short. Her first night inside the walls is spent in an incandescent rage so violent that the dispensary mistress, Suora Zuana, is dispatched to the girl’s cell to sedate her. Thus begins a complex relationship of trust and betrayal between the young rebel and the clever, scholarly nun, for whom the girl becomes the daughter she will never have.

As Serafina rails...
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