Sacred Hearts is the third selection for the new TV Book Club, so when I spotted a copy hiding on the library shelves I decided to grab the opportunity to try it.
The book is set in an Italian convent during the 16th Century. It tells the story of a young woman brought to the convent against her will, as her family couldn’t afford the dowry to see more than one of their daughters married.
I was totally unaware of this practice – I found the detail of convent life fascinating and struggled to imagine a society in which so many women were forced to leave their loved ones to spend a life locked away from the world.
The book was rich in period detail and contained many of those little facts that you just can’t help sharing with anyone who happens to be close by. The characters were well drawn and I especially loved the way in which all the nuns had unique personalities, following the rules to a varying extents.
My only criticism is that the pace of the book was quite slow, which meant that the 460 pages dragged in several places. I’d recommend this book only to fans of historical fiction, as I don’t think the plot is exciting enough to entertain anyone who isn’t interested in learning about life in the 16th Century.
This is the first Sarah Dunant book that I have read, but I’m interested in reading more.
Have you read any of her books?
Which would you recommend I try next?