The Anchoress

by Robyn Cadwallader

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Historical fiction Debut Books of the Month eBooks of the Month Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of The Anchoress

A quietly, deep and fascinating debut novel proving that communication doesn't have to be a nonsense of chatter or commotion. The author explores friendship, faith, desire, retreat and the gentle strength of women in the thirteenth century. Father Ranaulf is newly in charge of the Priory’s manuscripts and confessor for Sarah who has chosen at seventeen to become an Anchoress, shut away from the world, giving herself to prayer and service to God. Entirely captivating, Sarah’s story takes you by the hand and leads you in contemplation, through heartbreak, suffering and understanding. The author has the ability to evoke emotions with a whisper, with a suggestion, letting you reach a level of awareness alongside Sarah and Ranaulf. Clever and stimulating this is a surprisingly beautiful read.

Liz Robinson

The Anchoress Synopsis

England, 1255: Sarah is only seventeen when she chooses to become an anchoress, a holy woman shut away in a small cell, measuring seven paces by nine, at the side of the village church. Fleeing the grief of losing a much-loved sister in childbirth and the pressure to marry, she decides to renounce the world, with all its dangers, desires and temptations, and to commit herself to a life of prayer and service to God. But as she slowly begins to understand, even the thick, unforgiving walls of her cell cannot keep the outside world away, and it is soon clear that Sarah's body and soul are still in great danger...Robyn Cadwallader's powerful debut novel tells an absorbing story of faith, desire, shame, fear and the very human need for connection and touch. With a poetic intelligence, Cadwallader explores the relationship between the mind, body and spirit in Medieval England in a story that will hold the reader in a spell until the very last page.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780571313341
Publication date: 7th April 2016
Author: Robyn Cadwallader
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Primary Genre Historical fiction
Other Genres:
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What To Read After The Anchoress

Ghost Light
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Mrs England
House of Gold

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780571313341
Publication date: 07/04/2016
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780571313327
Publication date: 05/02/2015
Format: Hardback

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About Robyn Cadwallader

Robyn Cadwallader has published numerous, prize-winning short stories, poems and reviews, as well as a book of poetry and a non-fiction book based on her PhD thesis which explored attitudes to virginity and female agency in the Middle Ages. She lives among vineyards outside the Australian capital when not travelling to England for research, visiting ancient archaeological sites along the way.   Author photo © Che Chorley

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