Sacred Hearts and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Sacred Hearts has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: A slight tan to the page edges. Over 2 million items sold. Fast dispatch and delivery. Excellent Customer Feedback. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day.
Trade in your item
Get a £0.44
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Sacred Hearts Paperback – 3 Jan 2013


See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£8.99
£3.68 £1.38
£8.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Sacred Hearts + In The Company Of The Courtesan + The Birth Of Venus
Price For All Three: £25.17

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £0.44
Trade in Sacred Hearts for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.44, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (3 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844089118
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844089116
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 3.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

"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 som --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Once again, Dunant delivers: SACRED HEARTS is a compelling historical fantasy that manages to simultaneously entertain and illuminate the reader' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Sensible Cat on 15 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was gripped from the moment I picked the book up and saw the ominous Historical Note - "By the second half of the sixteenth century, the price of wedding dowries had risen so sharply in Catholic Europe that most noble families could not afford to marry off more than one daughter. The remaining young women were dispatched - at a much lesser price - to convents...Not all of them went willingly."

Serafina is sixteen years old and faces a lifetime of incarceration as the result of a forbidden flirtation discovered by her father. It is 1570 in the Italian city of Ferrara; the cultural flowering of the Renaissance is at its zenith, epressed in the glorious musical compositions flowing from the local nunnery, where her beautiful voice makes her a desirable commodity.

But Serafina has been locked up against her will. Furious, desperate, defiant and more than a little hysterical, she refuses to sing and is determined to escape. Hoping to diffuse the situation, and all too aware of the unsettling effect that a febrile novice can have on an enclosed community, the politically adept Abbess places her alongside another misfit, Suora Zuana. Raised by a remarkably open-minded physician father, Zuana entered the convent seventeen years ago after his death left her unmarriagable and alone; painfully, she has come to terms with her fate, and in fact recongises that her position as head of the Dispensary allows her responsibity and fulfilment that would probably be denied to her in the outside world.

Convent novels are ripe ground for cliches - hysteria, sexual tension, power politics and implied lesbianism.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
223 of 227 people found the following review helpful By Paul Grainger on 2 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sarah Dunant's latest novel is set in the convent of Santa Caterina, in the northern Italian city of Ferrara. The year is 1570. The story revolves around two women who had entered holy orders for different reasons. Serafina is a hot-headed 16-year old who had fallen in love with a man who was not her authoritarian father's choice as her husband, consequently she was condemned by him to spend the rest of her life as a nun. Zuana is in her thirties, the scholarly only child of a doctor who died suddenly and, with no prospects of marriage, was forced to enter the convent because she saw no other option. Both Serafina and Zuana struggle to adapt to the rigid lifestyle, and their triumphs and defeats are vividly portrayed. Sacred Hearts is patently a feminist novel, which compares the 16th century societal attitudes to women with those which prevail today. It is a very absorbing story, thought-provoking, sometimes horrifying, and very claustrophobic (all the action takes place within the convent walls). Whereas Sarah Dunant's earlier novel the Birth of Venus, also set in Italy, merely touched on the expression of feminine instincts, this one goes one step further, introducing betrayal and intrigue into a closed community where strong women can exercise real power, whereas in the outside world they had no power at all. The author brings her characters so vividly to life the reader has the impression of actually being in the convent with them. Five stars all the way.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
141 of 145 people found the following review helpful By A. Craig HALL OF FAME on 7 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
Serafina enters the Ferrara convent of Santa Caterina as its prisoner, screaming like a madwoman. At sixteen she's one of two nobleman's daughters, but there is only dowry enough for one suitable marriage.

Like Dunant's other two historical Italian novels, this is set in the Renaissance - or the tail-end of it - but where her first two heroines were bold rebels, the story is seen more through the eyes of a middle-aged nun who has embraced the cloistered life.It's a time of political and religious ferment Serafina's dowry to the convent makes her especially desirable, but she is also possessed of a heavenly voice which will add to the lustre of their famous choir. In time, they believe, Serafina will, like the rest, accept that convent life is preferable to the brutality of the world outside, and turn to the ideal bridegroom, Christ. What they do not know, initially, is that she is already passionately in love.

Stroppy and silent, Serafina seems reminiscent of many modern teenage girls, and many readers will smile at some of the scenes Dunant depicts. Nevertheless, she forms a relationship with the humane, scholarly herbalist Suora Zuana whose pupil she becomes. Zuana was the daughter of a doctor, educated and impoverished so that the convent offered her both refuge and intellectual freedom to experiment. A tension between youth and age, science and superstition, love and chastity is set up. The convent's all-female world is deformed both physically, in many cases, but also morally and intellectually, with religious mania threatening to break out over a mysterious old nun who showed the stigmata. Yet it also contains genuine goodness and compassion.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SusieH on 10 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sacred Hearts

In 16th century Italy daughters of nobility were well married off if their families could afford sizable dowries, or they were shipped off to a convent to be brides of Christ.

Serafina turns down the suitor chosen by her family, because she has fallen for an unsuitable man. Her would be suitor chooses her flirtatious sister instead, and her father refuses to allow Serafina to follow her love. Her sister has a lavish wedding, but Serafina is taken to the convent of Santa Caterina in Ferrara. She is unwilling, sullen, and determined to get out just as soon as possible. All novices have the right, after one year in the convent, to seek audience with the Bishop, with the possibility of returning to the world, but she cannot bear to think of even waiting that long. She speaks little, stating simply "The words came from my mouth, not my heart" to ensure that all know she is there under duress, and her vows are therefore meaningless.

Serafina assists Suora Zuana who teaches her how to use herbs and to mix and administer medicines. They become close.

Life in the convent is enriched by the interesting characters of the nuns - the pure at heart, the rule breakers, the vain, the motherly - and Sarah Dunant brings them to life wonderfully.

Read this excellent book to find out what happens to Serafina. Highly recommended, and one to re-read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback