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Sacred Hearts

by Sarah Dunant

eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Sacred Hearts


Shortlisted for the inaugural Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction 2010.


Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 6 June 2010.


Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 31 January 2010.


Convent life, you’d imagine, is one you choose – a vocation. But this searing story of the nuns of Santa Caterina in 16th-century Italy reveals how enforced convent entry was common for noble women who couldn’t find husbands, or, like 16-year-old Serafina, who are sent by their family to end unsuitable relationships. Serafina’s horror at her incarceration is palpable, but as a bond develops with Zuana, the nun who treats the sisters for illness, repressed emotion and self-inflicted wounds, so does a glimmer of hope.

Sacred Hearts Synopsis

1570 in the Italian city of Ferrara, and the convent of Santa Caterina is filled with noble women who are married to Christ because many cannot find husbands outside. Enter sixteen-year-old Serafina, ripped by her family from an illicit love affair, howling with rage and hormones and determined to escape. While on the other side of the great walls, counter-reformation forces in the Church are pushing for change, inside, Serafina's spirit and defiance ignite a fire that threatens to engulf the whole convent.

SACRED HEARTS is a novel about power, creativity and passion - both of the body and of the soul. Hidden history brought alive by a wonderful storyteller, renowned for her Italian Renaissance novels.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781844089116
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Publisher: Virago Press Ltd an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781844089116
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781844089116
Publication date: 3rd January 2013
Author: Sarah Dunant
Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 480 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,
Categories: Historical mysteries,

About Sarah Dunant

Sarah Dunant has written eight novels, edited two books of essays and worked widely in television, radio and in print. She has two daughters and lives in London and Florence.Photograph © Charlie Hopkinson

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