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.
Praise for Illuminations
"An enchanting beginning to the story of the perennially fascinating 12th-century mystic, Hildegard of Bingen. It is easy to paint a picture of a saint from the outside but much more difficult to show them from the inside. Mary Sharratt has undertaken this with sensitivity and grace."
—Margaret George, author of Mary, Called Magdalene
"I loved Mary Sharratt’s The Daughters of Witching Hill, but she has outdone herself with Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard Von Bingen. She brings one of the most famous and enigmatic women of the Middle Ages to vibrant life in this tour de force, which will captivate the reader from the very first page."
—Sharon Kay Penman, author of the New York Times bestseller Time and Chance
"I love Mary Sharratt. The grace of her writing and the grace of her subject combine seamlessly in this wonderful novel about the amazing, too-little-known saint, Hildegard of Bingen, a mystic and visionary. Sharratt captures both the pain and the beauty such gifts bring, as well as bringing to life a time of vast sins and vast redemptions."
—Karleen Koen, author of Before Versailles and the best-selling Through a Glass Darkly
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Books A Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Illuminations/Mary-Sharratt/9780544106536?id=5724163155978
Mary Sharratt has done it again. She has a unique talent for taking historical characters and creating fabulous stories about them. She did it with DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL
if you recall, I raved and raved about this book.
Now she does it with Illuminations. A fantastic story, about an inspirational woman. Hildegard was a saint. I would have become bitter and angry if placed in a situation as she was, but she managed to rise above it and become an inspiration. A woman the church should look towards to represent all that is good and honorable in it's children.
Hildegard wasn't always sweet and kind, but she did make the best of her situation.
This is a fantastically written novel. It held my attention from beginning till end. When I turned the last page, the only thought going through my mind " I must find out more about this woman ". That is the hallmark of a fabulous writer.
Mary Sharratt, thank you for this story. You have enlightened me and encouraged me to learn more.
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 find her on Facebook and Twitter.