Rated of 5
by Helen S. (Sun City West, AZ) A woman ahead of her time
The story of Hildegard von Bingen’s life was fascinating and enlightening. Before reading Illuminations I had only known about her from facts gleaned from the liner notes on CDs of her music; she was a medieval Christian visionary and prophet, as well as a talented musician, writer, and healer. But as I read this historical novel, I could see her talents developing and imagine what life would have been like for her as an anchorite coping with difficult people and trying situations. By the end of the book, I felt that the author had given me an inside glimpse into the heart and soul of a brilliant, multitalented woman who centuries later continues to inspire us. I highly recommend this book to all readers who want to know her, not just know about her.
Rated of 5
by Martha L. (Warner, NH) passion and pain Illuminations by Mary Sharratt is a novel about Hildegard von Bingen. I was worried it would be stuffy and overly religious, but it wasn’t at all. It was fascinating! Hildegard von Bingen was a famous nun/abbess/writer/composer from the eleventh century. She fought against the medieval views of women. It starts when as a child of eight she given to the church and was walled into three small rooms (an anchorage) as a handmaiden to woman who was extremely pious and in our world mentally ill. For thirty years, her only contact with the world was a priest who shared books and knowledge. It is from here that Hildegard found the strength to move forward. To me she was the first woman who tried to move the image of women. Most of all she was resilient and continued her vision forward, although not without problems.
The story of this remarkable woman cannot be told in these few words. There is so much more. The story is a well-written book that shares so much information about women during this time as well as the passion of Hildegard. If you enjoy historical fiction that is based on historical fact, this book is for you!
Rated of 5
by Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI) Illuminations
Hildegard was a fascinating character in the history of the church, and the writing was good but I just couldn't get into this book. Little is known of the events in the period of her 30 year confinement, and the treatment of this section seemed too fictionalized, with sexual innuendos added just to make the book more readable. The second part of the story seemed to have a rushed feeling with only a fleeting look given to events.
I just was couldn't form an attachment to either the characters or the story.
Rated of 5
by Diane R. (Munger, Michigan) ILLUMINATIONS IS A WINNER!!!
I truly enjoyed Illuminations. It was a true page turner and I loved the historical information that was intertwined throughout the book. It is an excellent book for a book club. It covers the life of a fascinating woman and corruption in the church and how the hierarchy looked down on women. It is suspenseful, holds your attention, and fast moving. It reminded me of the "Red Tent" where Dinah was portrayed. I was educated in a parochial school so many things in the book brought back memories even though there are many centuries between my education years and the time frame of this book.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...