Sarah Dunant


Coming this year to a bookshop near you!

1570 in the Italian city of Ferrara, and the convent of Santa Caterina is filled with noble women who are married to Christ because they cannot find husbands on the outside. Enter 16 year old Serafina, howling with rage and hormones and determined to escape. Her arrival disrupts the harmony and stability of the convent, as overseen by Madonna Chiara,  an abbess as fluent in politics as she is in prayer. She assigns the novice into the care of Suora Zuana, the scholarly nun who runs the dispensary and treats all manner of sickness, from pestilence and melancholy to self-inflicted wounds.  As an unlikely relationship builds between the two women, others figures stand watching and waiting; most notably the novice mistress, Suora Umiliana, a crusader for God and ever stricter piety and the mysterious, decrepit Suora Magdalena, incarcerated in her cell with a history of ecstasy and visions.

While on the other side of the great walls,  Counter reformation forces in the Church are pushing for repressive change, inside, Serafinaís spirit and defiance ignite a fire that threatens to engulf  the whole convent. The third part of Sarah Dunantís acclaimed Renaissance trilogy, Sacred Hearts, is about power, creativity, love, both secular and spiritual, and the indomitable spirit of women in an age when religious, political and social forces were all stacked against them.

British Publication  July 1st 2009
Canadian Publication  July 1st 2009
Australian Publication  July t 2009

American Publication July 4th 2009

American Tour  coast to coast   July/August
Canadian Gulf Island literary Festival  -  Denman Island  July 17th - 19th 2009

British events to be released later.