I became a fan of author Mary Sharratt when I read her novel, Daughters of the Witching Hill, so I've been anticipating the release of Illuminations with great excitement and when I was offered the opportunity to review it I jumped at the chance!
Illuminations tells the story of Hildegard von Bingen, who as a young girl was offered to the church as a companion to an anchorite nun, Jutta Von Sponheim. At the tender age of eight Hildegard was sealed in a small cell with Jutta where she would remain for over two decades. Once Jutta dies Hildegard works tirelessly to free her fellow nuns from the isolation of the anchorage and moves them to their own monastery at St. Rupertsberg where she serves as Prioress. Throughout her life Hildegard experienced religious visions and she would eventually record them into three works. She also wrote plays, music and books on natural medicine. Hildegard was recently canonized as a saint by Pope Benedict XVI. She is only one of four women to be named a Doctor of the Church by the Roman Catholic Church.
Mary Sharratt's writing is pure excellence! She has a way of pulling the reader in and keeping them hooked. Even though a majority of the book takes place in a tiny room there were never any slow or boring parts. Hildegard was truly an amazing and inspiring woman and Sharratt does a fabulous job at bringing her to life! Highly recommended!