An era convulsed by religious reformation and a convent on the threshold of irrevocable change are the basis for Sarah Dunant's eloquent, compelling third novel in her Renaissance trilogy, SACRED HEARTS.
When young and willful Serafina is immured against her wishes in the Convent of Santa Caterina, in the Italian city of Ferrara, she is merely following in the terrible footsteps of countless unwanted or tarnished girls before her. It is estimated that by the late 16th century, dowries had grown so exorbitant that almost half of the noble women in Italy were obliged to take the veil. But Serafina's rebellion is not like that of other girls'; heart-wrenching, relentless, and ultimately explosive, the disruption she creates sets off a series of events that grow to involve the wry dispensary mistress, the worldly abbess, and ambitious novice mistress. Each sees in Serafina a means of deliverance or downfall; each aspires to influence the wayward girl's course. But as they struggle to subdue the passion in Serafina's rebellious soul, each finds she must come to terms with the sorrows, lost hopes, and decisions of her own past as well as the unstoppable changes bearing down on the convent from the outside.
SACRED HEARTS is an extraordinary journey into a world we rarely see, a place where women sacrificed their personal desires and dreams to come together for safety. Though set within a convent, Dunant offers a rich and complex tale that will speak to anyone who has longed for redemption and fought for the impossible.
Now available in hardcover, SACRED HEARTS will be released this April in trade paperback.