About The Book:
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Skillfully weaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Illuminations brings to life one of the most extraordinary women of the Middle Ages: Hildegard von Bingen, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath.
Offered to the Church at the age of eight, Hildegard was expected to live in silent submission as the handmaiden of a renowned, disturbed young nun, Jutta von Sponheim. But Hildegard rejected Jutta’s masochistic piety, rejoicing in her own secret visions of the divine. When Jutta died, Hildegard broke out of her prison, answering the heavenly call to speak and write about her visions and to liberate her sisters.
Riveting and utterly unforgettable, Illuminations is a deeply moving portrayal of a woman willing to risk everything for what she believed.
I was absolutely fascinated by this novel. I didn't know a thing about Hildegard Von Bingen, so I went into this reading with fresh eyes and learned so much about this courageous historical woman.
Author Mary Sharratt does a wonderful job of telling the story of the young Hildegard and the unbelievable life she was forced to lead as an anchorite and how as a young woman she became a champion for young women of faith. Written in first person using the voice of Hildegard, Sharratt shows the anxiousness of the child, the depression of the young girl, the feistiness of the adult woman and the faithfulness and determination of the mature woman through this story.
It is one of the most inspiring books I've read in a long time, and I'm very pleased to recommend it to those who are interested in historical women and inspirational religious women.
|An illustration of Hildegard dictating her visions to a monk while in anchorage.|
About The Author:
The author of four critically acclaimed historical novels, Mary Sharratt is an American who lives in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, the setting for her acclaimed Daughters of the Witching Hill, which recasts the Pendle Witches of 1612 in their historical context as cunning folk and healers.
She also lived for twelve years in Germany, which, along with her interest in sacred music and herbal medicine, inspired her to write Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen. Illuminations won the Nautilus Gold Award for Better Books for a Better World and was selected as a Kirkus Book of the Year.
For more information, please visit Mary’s website and blog. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information on Mary's blog tour, check out the tour stops here: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/illuminationsvirtualtour/
My thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual tours for including me on this tour and to he publisher for the review copy of the book. I was not compensated for my opinion.