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Illuminations [Audio]
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Skillfully interweaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Sharratt's redemptive novel, 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 entombed in a small room where she was expected to live out her days in silent submission as the handmaiden of a renowned but disturbed young nun, Jutta von Sponheim. Instead, Hildegard rejected Jutta's masochistic piety and found comfort and grace in studying books, growing herbs, and rejoicing in her own secret visions of the divine. When Jutta died some thirty years later, Hildegard broke out of her prison with the heavenly calling to speak and write about her visions and to liberate her sisters and herself from the soul-destroying anchorage. Riveting and utterly unforgettable, Illuminations is a deeply moving portrayal of a woman willing to risk everything for what she believed.
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About the Author

Mary Sharratt is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva, The Vanishing Point, and Daughters of the Witching Hill. Audie Award finalist Tavia Gilbert is a classical theater and public radio-trained actress who has earned AudioFile Earphones and Parents' Choice awards for her audiobook narrations. Tavia has narrated more than 250 multicast and single-voice audiobooks.

Reviews

"[A] gripping story." ---Publishers Weekly

The extraordinary 12th-century nun's sketchy biography forms the basis of this feminist tale, featuring a strong, independent woman whose parents sent her away at age eight to be the companion to a 16-year-old religious fanatic, Jutta Von Spondheim. For 30 years, Hildegard lived in a walled-up area of the Disibodenberg monastery, only to emerge when Jutta died. Once free, Hildegard, having experienced religious visions since childhood, established and led her own convent, composing music and writing theological texts. Sharrott (Daughters of the Witching Hill; The Real Minerva) successfully articulates her subject's religious nature while stressing her human qualities. Tavia Gilbert's thoughtful reading captures Hildegard's voice as she ages from eight to over 80. verdict This highly religious audiobook will appeal largely to listeners who wish to learn more about this newly canonized saint as well as those interested in the medieval church. ["Interest in Hildegard will likely increase this year following her long-overdue canonization and receipt of the title "Doctor of the Church...." Sharratt's well-timed and well-written portrait, both admiring and humanizing, should please readers looking for an accessible way to learn more about the life of this fascinating medieval woman," read the review of the Houghton Harcourt hc, LJ 8/12.-Ed.] [See also the review of the DVD Hildegard of Bingen and the Living Light, p. 54.]-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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