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“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.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review
“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.”—Washington Post
“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.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Engrossing…. Dunant brings the period vividly to life, portraying in detail the complex, claustrophobic world of the convent.” —Boston Globe
“Original, engrossing, meticulously researched, this is a fascinating tale….This novel has everything: period detail, political intrigue, love, mystery, social strife, and epic cattiness.” —Elle --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Sarah Dunant is a cultural commentator, award-winning thriller writer and author of a trilogy of novels set in renaissance Italy exploring women's lives through art, sex and religion.See all Product Description
Enjoyed reading this book tremendously. The story line was very captivating.Published 12 months ago by Nancy Downey
Historical fiction on whether convents were prisons or sanctuaries for unmarried women in 16th. Italy. Read morePublished on April 14 2011 by cleo
Agreat read with some unexpected twists. Love the insight it gives you on the lives of women in this time period. I want to read more of this author's works.Published on Aug. 15 2010 by Sandra