Heather's Reviews > Sacred Hearts

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant
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's review
Jan 07, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: audio-book, historical-fiction, italy, library-book, 16th-c
Read from November 15 to December 31, 2010

I am going to say this right up front before we go anywhere so you are prepared for what comes next – I really, really did not enjoy this book and this is to be my first truly negative review. There were so many things for me that did not work in this book, so let’s start at the beginning.

The beginning was very hard to get into. There is A LOT of description and it crawls ahead at a snails pace. I honestly have no idea how the story began because I started reading this book at the beginning of November and it took me over a month and a half to read it. At several times throughout the book I was ready to put it down and call it quits but I kept thinking, “Maybe it will pick up soon”. If I had been reading this in paper copy I definitely would have.

So many times throughout this audiobook I would find that I was spacing out because it wasn’t holding my attention. There isn’t a lot of action in this story and that would be fine if it was a character driven story and I was lead to really care about the characters. The story did pick up slightly toward the very end where some events did occur (I would hesitate to call it action), but by that time I had lost all my interest in the book and just wanted to get to the end. I honestly didn’t care what happened to the characters.

There was much time spent on how life was in a convent at this time and truthfully I learned a lot from it – I would never survive in a convent. Some of the information that I learned helped me to better understand some other novels I had read that would occasionally reference something about a convent. It is obvious that the author put a lot of time into carefully researching the time period and the subject matter. I think there was a foundation for a story there and that was well written; if some more plot was incorporated this might have been a halfway decent book, but it was severely lacking in that department.

I hate to be so negative in this review – I have heard so many great things about her other two books, In the Company of the Courtesan and The Birth of Venus, both of which are on my bookshelf. This one just didn’t do it for me.

Audiobook impressions:

The only reason that I finished this book was because it was an audiobook – so that must say something for the narration. The author was soft spoken which really fit the feel of being in a convent. I also liked having someone else pronounce the names of the characters because after looking at how they are spelled out I never would have pronounced them right.

4 out of 5 for the audio.

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Reading Progress

10.0% "I'm not really lovin this one. I might not finish it."
79.0% 5 comments
11/28/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Andrew Smith I read the print version but I agree totally with your comments, Heather. But don't let Sacred Hearts put you off reading In the Company of a Courtesan, it's so much better, really enjoyable. Haven't read The Birth of Venus but willing to give it a try in case it's as good as Courtesan.

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