Category: Religious Orders

Blog Book Tour | Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth a #fairytale re-telling of Rapunzel by #BrothersGrimm

Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , 3 Comments

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Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks), (a Thomas Donne book)
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers
Official Author Websites:  Site | Blog @KateForsyth | Facebook

Available Formats: Hardback, Trade Paperback, & Ebook

Converse via: #BitterGreensBlogTour, #Rapunzel, #FairyTale, & #BitterGreens

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Bitter Greens” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I grew up inside the world of fairy-tales like most young children whose imagination is captured by the fantasy worlds a fairy-tale can generate and explode inside their minds and hearts. I did not always read the direct stories from literature, but opted instead for the motion picture versions and/or re-tellings of the same tale told from a different writer; as part of me always felt that the Brothers Grimm fairy-tales were for someone a bit older than I was at the time I had stumbled across them. I did, of course, read stories like “Little Red Riding Hood” or others that were in collection anthologies for children, but I never truly paid any mind or attention to who was writing them as I liked reading each of the short stories in succession of each other. I do know I appreciated Hans Christian Anderson as a child, but I am not sure which of his were my ultimate favourite either; I will have to re-explore his works at some point down the road.

Even if I heard the stories told aloud by family members or watched an adaptation on the screen, the entire world always fit quite happily inside my mind’s eye, as I liked the lessons stitched into the fabric of the stories themselves. I always liked seeing how the characters worked themselves out of situations and found true strength in the midst of difficulty. The fact there were more happy endings than there were unresolved cliffhangers was a big draw as well, as despite the obstacles that arose, it was quite wicked to find they could live peacefully in the end.

One of my favourite adaptations is “Ever After” on behalf of “Cinderella”, although there are a few other adaptations I appreciate as well. I am not remembering which versions of Rapunzel I am familiar with but when I first learnt of this novel, I was attracted to the deeply wrought story as an underlay to the main thread of context for the well-known fairy-tale. I do remember I used to tell different variants of the story whilst I was in elementary school, as it was a bit of a game we used to play at lunch. We were either re-inventing different outcomes for Rapunzel or Rumpelstiltskin; when we weren’t fondly trying to trip each other up remembering our US Presidents with their various nicknames to help clue us to which one was which. Elementary school games were filled with fond memories as it was one of the few times my classmates and I truly came together as one for the pure joy of ‘sharing’ and being full of ‘laughter’.

I did get a kick out of watching “Tangled” which I realise now was a Rapunzel variant of the story, but then again I grew up on Disney animated films; I tend to keep my eye on the releases that remind me of my childhood.

Blog Book Tour | Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth a #fairytale re-telling of Rapunzel by #BrothersGrimmBitter Greens
by Kate Forsyth

The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in this breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love.

French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens…

After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.

Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.

Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author:

Genres: Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Historical Fiction


Published by A Thomas Donne Book

on 23rd September, 2014 (in the United States)

Pages: 496

Author Biography:

Kate Forsyth

Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling & award-winning author of thirty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both adults and children. She was recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite 20 Novelists, and has been called ‘one of the finest writers of this generation. She is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers, and has told stories to both children and adults all over the world.

Her most recent book for adults is a historical novel called ‘The Wild Girl’, which tells the true, untold love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world’s most famous fairy tales. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, ‘The Wild Girl’ is a story of love, war, heartbreak, and the redemptive power of storytelling, and was named the Most Memorable Love Story of 2013.

She is probably most famous for ‘Bitter Greens’, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale interwoven with the dramatic life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. ‘Bitter Greens’ has been called ‘the best fairy tale retelling since Angela Carter’, and has been nominated for a Norma K. Hemming Award, the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Fiction, and a Ditmar Award.

Her most recent book for children is ‘Grumpy Grandpa’, a charming picture book that shows people are not always what they seem.

Since ‘The Witches of Eileanan’ was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She’s also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with ‘The Gypsy Crown’ – which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, ‘The Lightning Bolt’, was also a CBCA Notable Book.

Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, having already completed a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.

Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, ‘A Mother’s Offering to her Children’. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, and many thousands of books.

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On reading a re-telling ahead of an original canon:

I clearly have stepped outside my own preferences in reading this past year, as previously I would attempt to read an original canon version of a story prior to picking up a re-telling of the same story. I have found that due to different reasons time doesn’t always allow the luxury of going back to the canon, but rather only allows me to read the book at hand. On the other side of the coin, there have been a few times where I felt not reading the original work might befit me moreso than if I had, such as the case with Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale and my forthcoming review of The Monogram Murders (Hercules Poirot). As this particular story is a Brothers Grimm, I was more akin to yearning to read a re-telling than perhaps the original, as I always felt the Grimm brothers wrote stories a bit more intense than I might be drawn to read on a regular basis. At the heart of their stories, I was always wholly entranced but to the actually reading of them? I was always a bit on the fence of where I fit with my inclinations. Realising I had known enough about Rapunzel to insert myself into the flow of the novel, is why I settled myself into the pace Forsyth was generating from the opening of the story and onward. I would be curious if other readers make the same choices I do, or if they have a preference for reading canons prior to after canons; it is such a curious situation to have and I find myself yielding a bit when it comes to where my preferences lie on the issue.

My Review of Bitter Greens:

The Abbey into which Charlotte-Rose de la Force enters has such a strict rule base to follow, that I was curious how she could abide by a quarter of their order’s restrictions when she was entering the convent a free-spirit of the 17th Century. The rules of her day were quite forthright as she was simply another woman cast into an Abbey at the voice of the King, as she was no longer useful nor wanted at Court. The harshness of the sentence was in the fact that most of the women who were forced into this life did not go willingly but rather begrudgingly yet they had little recourse to pursue a different course. In many ways, at the beginning of this novel I started to think back on my reading of Illuminations as the circumstances of being cast into a particular closed off from society insular world was highly familiar. On this level, Bitter Greens is a historical fiction arc of a story set against the back-drop of a biographical fiction narrative, as we are learning about the story of Rapunzel through the writer who gave birth to the idea that has staid with us for generations.

The ache of Mademoiselle’s heart clenched into a tight knot as her new cloister environment did not permit her to continue her writings or her stories from being spilt out of her quill. I was tucked up in curiosity at this revelation to sort out how her story of Rapunzel would come to flourish inside such a stark and dank place where the creative arts were discouraged. It was a bit striking to me that they did not want their sisters to take up a hobby or have a personal vice to keep their own sanity amongst the duties they would endure – so many hours would stack against the clock, and to have a bit of a reprieve in my mind would have settled the heart to endurance.

One particular part of the story I was rather keen on involves beekeeping and the wisdom of knowledge the apothecarist at the convent shares with Charlotte-Rose during a measure of repentance she owes for stepping out of line. Sister Seraphina keeps not only a full garden for her sisters but an active hive, where she cares for her bees with both love and reverence for their culture. I have always appreciated learning more about bees as their struggle to survive is always so very perilous of a plight. Inserting this thread of Sister Seraphina was most delightful, as it spoke to how some of the sisters carved out a bit of peace for themselves even within the walls of a ruled life of order. This was a turning point for me in the story, as I started to feel attached to both characters as warmly as I have felt towards Hildegard.

The origins of Rapunzel are presented as a symphony of a lived life from an era prior to Charlotte-Rose’s own, as told to her by Sister Seraphina whilst they toiled in the garden. What I found so incredible about this bit of traction of where the inspiration for the story of Rapunzel was spun from is how ironic it was for Charlotte-Rose to find herself putting roots into her time at the abbey. She was as indifferent to the life of service as Hildegard (there are a lot of cross-references for me in my mind between both stories!), irked beyond her ire to make peace with her situation, and yet had a bit of a warming glow towards acknowledging that there could be a way towards happiness despite her emotions as a small flicking candle lighting the flame. Her solace was always hinged to stories and the craft of telling stories in a voice that carried the mirth of joy of having them being told. She wandered off into her mind as soon as a measure of shadow and ill will would work itself into her path or affect those she knew around her. The stories were a freedom from reality to help her mind heal from what it did not want to acknowledge as being real as much as to calm her nerves from feeling overwhelmed by something she witnessed or heard. The infusion of how she worked her words into her own creative voice for stories is an outlet of her truest strength. Seeing how this originated and how it percolated at the abbey was the kind of insight that we do not always perceive on behalf of writers of fairy-tales and mythologies. I am not sure how much was based on actual knowledge and how much was creatively inspired, but the notion of where it all stemmed from was beyond fascinating to read in Bitter Greens!

Charlotte-Rose has been given the rarest of gifts: the chance to thread her memories through the spindle of her mind and takeaway insight into how she became the woman she is and how the choices she made affected her future. The tome of wonder you will find within this novel is only one part of the whole of Charlotte-Rose’s life and an expedition of a theory of how she came to fulfill her destiny as a spinning of stories and telling tales full of incredible wisdom. There is a particular surprise for all of us who have travelled down the rabbit hole with Kate Forsyth seeking Rapunzel and finding someone unexpectedly present instead. I felt like smirking when I realised the beauty of Forsyth’s choice and the level of eloquence she stitched into this story overall. I was quite struck by the realisation that from the moment I first opened Bitter Greens to the moment I closed the ARC, I was taken completely unawares and most delighted by the experience!

On the writing style of Kate Forsyth:

Somehow I had forgotten that the novel The Wild Girl was the first novel I had come across by Kate Forsyth at my local library – a book I had checked out a few times yet had not had the honour of reading in full. Forsyth puts dual empathsis on the story of Charlotte-Rose and of Margherita (the inspiration behind Rapunzel) throughout Bitter Greens; owning to each vein of the narrative when writing from one fusion of the story to the other. I found myself drawn closer into the plight of Charlotte-Rose during this reading as I think for me, I found a connection in her that I had discovered whilst reading Hildegard (from Illuminations), and thereby my mind simply alighted onto her path a bit more than Margherita’s at this time. I will have to see after I have the pleasure of reading the Brothers Grimm tale of Rapunzel if I feel more attachment to the passages involving Margherita.

The breadth of her vision for this re-telling is quite impressive, as she didn’t just present a new way of seeing Rupunzel but rather to bridge the gap between the fairy-tale, the reality of two women who truly lived, and the way in which the story has evolved through each generation who fell in sync with it’s telling. She has given us a hearty adaptation whose layers curate in your mind and encourage the reader to take a second reading to fully absolve through the multi-dimensional story in full earnest. I know I will be seeing how my impression of the duality shifts and evolves, but for a first reading I was properly enchanted and spellbound. This is a gutting story-line of perseverance and fortitude whilst dealing with tribulations that no one would soon want to find themselves in the midst of personally.

I do highly recommend that readers might consider reading Illuminations before they read Bitter Greens, as there are instances of overlap between situations found within both stories; for me personally, some of those instances were better understood because I had read Illuminations last year.

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Bitter Greens Book Trailer via Kate Forsyth

Inspired to Share: The placards and music presented in this impressive book trailer elude to the passages that will be found within the pages of “Bitter Greens”; as this is not your ordinary fairy-tale nor is it a re-telling that you’re expecting to find; the layers of story and of time itself through different eras and recollective memories is what helps enchant you as you read; but it is the sheer vision of Forsyth to spin the tale as only she could give it life that stays with you. Consider this trailer a bit of a ‘teaser’ of what the novel will yield!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Virtual Road Map for “Bitter Greens” can be found here:

Bitter Greens Virtual Tour with HFVBTsBe sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

I will be hosting an Author Interview
with Kate Foryth on this blog tour as well. 

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT on my Bookish Events page!

This blog tour is also highlighting the:

Historical Novel SocietyA society that I hope to one day join myself as I love their content & focus on Historical Fiction. I appreciate being able to use their badge in my blog’s sidebar to promote awareness of their efforts to spotlight emerging talent inside the genre & for providing amazing ways to become integrated into the mission of supporting today’s historical authors who write such convicting narratives and stories. For the moment I support from afar but I always love alighting on their site and seeing what is new & forthcoming. They even host live events & get togethers!

I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon! 

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Bitter Greens”, book synopsis, author photograph of Kate Forsyth, author biography, and the tour host badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. The book trailer for “Bitter Greens” via Kate Forsyth had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Historical Novel Society badge was used with permission; as book bloggers are encouraged to promote the Society on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “Bitter Greens”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

Comments on Twitter:

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Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2014 by jorielov in 17th Century, Apiculture, Apothecary, ARC | Galley Copy, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Catholicism, Charlotte-Rose de la Force, Domestic Violence, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Honeybees, Nun, Religious Orders, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Widows & Widowers

+Book Review+ Flight to Coorah Creek by Janet Gover #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 16 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Flight to Coorah Creek by Janet GoverFlight to Coorah Creek by Janet Gover

Author Connections:

Personal Site | @janet_gover | Facebook

Converse via: #ChocLit & #FlightToCoorahCreek

Illustrated By: Berni Stevens

 @circleoflebanon | Writer | Illustrator

Genre(s): Fiction | Romance | Adventure

the Australian Outback | Second Chances

Published by: ChocLitUK, 7 March, 2014

Available Formats: Paperback, E-Book

Page Count: 306

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “Flight to Coorah Creek” from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Inspired to Read:

Mind you, the mere fact that this story is set inside an area of a far-off continent that has both intrigued me and enchanted me since I was a young child was only partially the reason for my selection of receiving this particular book for review! I will go into my appreciation for the Outback in a moment, but part of what I wanted to relay is that I always loved stories of medical practice until I reached my mid-twenties where a lot of what I was either watching through tv serials, motion pictures, or reading in novels was becoming a bit much for me emotionally. I even attempted to watch a Canadian tv serial (via HuLu): Combat Hospital except I had to bow out after two or three episodes as clearly the series was wrecking my emotional heart.

I’m the girl who dreams of obtaining the first five years of ER (my beloved medical drama of my teenage years) and the ‘Martini’s & Medicine’ special boxed set of M* A* S* H (my beloved medical drama of my twenties) yet being able to re-alight inside medical narratives has been a bit of a difficulty I had not felt I would ever experience. The only solace I had is that perhaps I OD’d on the stories themselves and had to step away in order to return. This is why as I learnt of the inclusion of the air ambulance story thread for Flight to Coorah Creek, internally the wheels of curiosity started to click together and unite. Back in late Spring, whilst hosting the #ChocLitSaturdays chat which is the sister companion to this blog feature, I knew I had made the right choice as Ms. Gover happily gave out tidbits of her research and writing process to stitch the story together. Ever since that lovely conversation I have been attempting to dig back into the heart of the novel and attach myself into the world therein.

Dear hearts, kindly forgive my lack of focus and attention, as the time between late Spring and late Summer were a bit consuming for me personally. I wanted to soak into the story when my heart and spirit could allow me the grace of full attention and focus. I never want to rush a ChocLit novel, and it is a grace for me as a book blogger the publisher has such a kind heart understanding how life can intercede on a blogger’s reading life. Their authors are equally accepting in this regard, which has not only encouraged me but taken away the guilt I’ve had for the lost hours between then and now. Coincidentally, we’re not even going to acknowledge I’m posting this a week later than intended as the previous Saturday was a mixture of computer technical issues and a myriad sea of stress. Notwithstanding all the lightning storms occurring at such a fast clip over the past fortnight or so, to boggle this book blogger’s mind with a fierce vexation!

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Book Synopsis: 

What happens when you can fly, but you just can’t hide?

Only Jessica Pearson knows the truth when the press portray her as the woman who betrayed her lover to escape prosecution. But will her new job flying an outback air ambulance help her sleep at night or atone for a lost life?

Doctor Adam Gilmore touches the lives of his patients, but his own scars mean he can never let a woman touch his heart.

Runaway Ellen Parkes wants to build a safe future for her two children. Without a man – not even one as gentle as Jack North.

In Coorah Creek, a town on the edge of nowhere, you’re judged by what you do, not what people say about you. But when the harshest judge is the one you see in the mirror, there’s nowhere left to hide.

Author Biography:Janet Gover

Janet lives in Surrey with her English husband but grew up in the Australian outback surrounded by books. She solved mysteries with Sherlock Holmes, explored jungles with Edgar Rice Burroughs and shot to the stars with Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. After studying journalism at Queensland University she became a television journalist, first in Australia, then in Asia and Europe. During her career Janet saw and did a lot of unusual things. She met one Pope, at least three Prime Ministers, a few movie stars and a dolphin. Janet now works in television production and travels extensively with her job.

Janet’s first short story, The Last Dragon, was published in 2002. Since then she has published numerous short stories, one of which won the Elizabeth Goudge Award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She has previously published three novels with Little Black Dress, Flight to Coorah Creek is her debut with Choc Lit and Bring Me Sunshine her first Choc Lit Lite ebook novella.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThe Bush | Outback as a setting from Australia:

I suppose you could say that I am not unlike most Americans who are deeply curious about the Australian Outback and life ‘Down Under’ as it was regularly referred to in my youth. I grew up on hearty Australian classics such as “Crocodile Dundee” and my beloved horse dramas “The Man from Snowy River” and “Return to Snowy River”; all of which left a deep impression on a young girl’s heart. I always wanted to seek out more Australian Literature, and despite a few start/stops to unearthing authors who penned stories set there and/or were Australian authors outright, I never did get the proper chance to read their stories! One of the goals I had set out for myself as a book blogger was to sort out a way to read all the lovely stories in fiction that had excited my heart and lit a fire inside my imagination. The best gift whilst being a reviewer for ChocLit, is that they have writers submitting stories from different regions of the world. This particular story is a case-in-point as much as my previous readings of The Reluctant Bride (by an Australian author) and Close to the Wind (by an New Zealand author).

The stark and ominous setting of the story is the Outback itself — a holds no bar locale, where even the strongest bloke and gal might find a bit beguiling to encroach a living out of. The Outback is a lot like the American West, a land who never fully gave itself into being civilised anymore than it stopped being wild. The animals and natural make-up of the land has survived without hardly any interference from man nor man’s pursuit of his own endeavours which led him to go there. For myself, I especially love how the Outback was left to it’s natural graces and natural inclinations of evolving into what it was destined to be without the touch of man to muddle it. There are so many beautiful places that we have the tendency to wreck simply by overtaking what is not meant to be conquered that the few places which can shine as their naturally allowed is a celebration to me. I always had a conservation mind-set, and a determined passion for preservation, which is why soaking into this novel was such a leap of joy; to read the passages in the opening sequences where Jess and Adam are flying further into the remote bits of the Outback to save a life.

Visually Gover does a stunning job of descriptive narrative and lends an eye for sight for those of us who have not yet been blessed to visit Australia. She pulls the setting of the locale forward through her story and creates a tangible vortex of an experience for the reader to directly integrate into ‘where’ Flight to Coorah Creek takes them. The reddening of the soil, however, flickered back inside my own memory to the soil I found in Alabama. An enriched red clay that was never beloved by locals but was quite the curious discovery for a girl who grew up on sandy beaches within the breath of the Gulf States!

Read More

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Posted Saturday, 16 August, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Australia, Australian Literature, Blog Tour Host, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Cookery, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Divorce & Martial Strife, Domestic Violence, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Modern British Literature, Nun, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Abuse, Religious Orders, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Second Chance Love, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Writing Style & Voice

+Book Review+ The Road Back by Liz Harris #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 5 July, 2014 by jorielov , , , 5 Comments

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The Road Back by Liz HarrisThe Road Back by Liz Harris

Author Connections: Personal Site | Blog

Facebook | Twitter | Converse via: #ChocLit

Illustrated By: Berni Stevens

 @circleoflebanon | Writer | Illustrator

Genre(s): Fiction | Romance | Time Shift

Forbidden Love | Drama | Historical

Published by: ChocLitUK, 6 September, 2012

Available Formats: Paperback, E-Book & Audiobook

Page Count: 314

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “The Road Back” from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

On my Connection to Ms. Harris & my inspiration to read this novel:

When I began reading this novel, I was already hosting #ChocLitSaturdays chats on a regular basis. Eleven in the morning of a Saturday, has become a favourite hour for me to exchange conversation and joy with everyone who shows up to participate in a chat centered around ChocLit novels and the Romance branch of literature in general. Ms. Harris and I had exchanged a few conversations ahead of the chats beginning, and during one of those lovely moments she had mentioned to me about how she met Mr. Dexter (the writer behind Inspector Morse). I had an inkling I would appreciate reading this novel ahead of her mentioning that story to me, but afterwards, I knew I wanted to read this sooner rather than later! The fact that this story centers around an adoption story solidified my interest, as I will be adopting in the future myself.

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms. Courtenay, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms. Harris, either through #ChocLitSaturdays chats or privately. She is most giving of her time and I have appreciated the opportunity to know the writer behind the stories I enjoy reading! She always shares her happy spirit in the chats too, and her insights into why she enjoys writing the books that speak to her the most.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Harris through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturdays the chat as well as privately; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

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Book Synopsis: 

When Patricia accompanies her father, Major George Carstairs, on a trip to Ladakh, north of the Himalayas, in the early 1960s, she sees it as a chance to finally win his love. What she could never have foreseen is meeting Kalden – a local man destined by circumstances beyond his control to be a monk, but fated to be the love of her life.

Despite her father’s fury, the lovers are determined to be together, but can their forbidden love survive?

A wonderful story about a passion that crosses cultures, a love that endures for a lifetime, and the hope that can only come from revisiting the past.

Author Biography:Liz Harris

Liz was born in London and now lives in South Oxfordshire with her husband. After graduating from university with a Law degree, she moved to California where she led a varied life, trying her hand at everything from cocktail waitressing on Sunset Strip to working as secretary to the CEO of a large Japanese trading company, not to mention a stint as ‘resident starlet’ at MGM. On returning to England, Liz completed a degree in English and taught for a number of years before developing her writing career.

Liz’s debut novel, The Road Back, won a 2012 Book of the Year Award from Coffee Time Romance in the USA and her second novel A Bargain Struck was highly praised by the Daily Mail in the UK.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comGeographically Specific: Ladakh (north of the Himalaya Mountains):

Ms. Harris has a way of capturing the scenery and the depth of locale in such a beautiful scale of visual fortitude! As I was reading the passages expressing the angst and anguish of Patricia’s life in London, England and then, juxtapositioned that life against the life of Kalden in Ladakh, and the imagery is quite startling! She gives the reader such a window into their everyday worlds as if to breathe in a piece of that scenery for the very first time and know that you’ve gone to the location rather than merely ‘visiting’ the locale off the printed page. For Ladakh, she even used local words which would make sense from the character’s point of view to be authentic and true to his identity, as much as writing in the everyday elements I have always appreciated which are stitched into the fabric of the background.

I love how through Kalden’s eyes we are seeing the lush beauty of the glaciers within the Himalayan mountains, as much as we see the stark isolating quiet of being present in a place that has more silence than sound. She gives you the essence of being in Kalden’s shoes, and for that I am celebrating ‘going somewhere’ quite different and alluring from what I have previously read. I love Eastern Religions and Spirituality, and having this story set in a mystical place as a backdrop to the enveloping story was a very special treat.

My Review of The Road Back:

Grabbing you in the heart with her opening bits of narrative to explain the journey Amy is about to embark on to seek out her birth parents now that her adoptive parents have passed on is gripping to say the least! The fact that I am reading this novel as a Prospective Adoptive Mum, of whom is planning to adopt children out of foster care in the future puts the story firmly in the forefront of my mind and heart. I have always had a strong empathic heart for children who either do not know their birth families if removed from their homes as infants or young toddlers, or children who know of their birth families but have been removed as school-aged children. The connective ties of family stitched together become fragmented memories and a heartache of ambiguous loss for the ones who never knew them at all. My heart went out to Amy as she’s on the brink of breaching back into her past, uncovering the secreted mysteries of her birth mother, and wondering if she is brave enough to handle what she discovers.

Patricia is the elder sister of a special needs brother, who was physically affected by the siege of war; her childhood is altered the day her father chooses him over her in his affection. For a young child to realise how a father can choose which child to adore, dot, and love more than the other, has ramifications as the child grows. I felt for her in the sequences where not even her mother was strong enough to stand against her father when he was in the wrong. And, how disconcerting it was to watch as he did not realise how he was affecting his daughter.

Kalden’s entrance into the story is heart-wretching as his position in his family is that of the fourth son, a designation that has him sentenced towards being a monk rather than a husband and father. In his culture, a fourth son cannot inherit land at least not in his family, where the land is divided by three and unable to be partitioned off into fourths. For such a young lad to enter the story, the weight of his heart bleds out of his scenes, giving us a heartfelt grasp of his reality despite the youth of his eight years.

The beautiful irony is that both Patricia and Kalden’s upbringings were a bit similar to each other, in that neither of their families elected to place their needs first or in any measure of importance. They were each self-reliant at a young age, and they each treasured their family’s affection but knew that for whichever reason, they were not the children in the family of whom theirs would consider had worth. Their lifepaths were already on a route towards convergence long before their encounter in Ladakh. Two souls from two very different worlds, and yet on the heart level, their spirits were entwined by the circumstances of their lives.

Tragedy affects people in different ways, and the unique twist in the story for me was in realising that out of the grief for her brother, Patricia turnt her full attention to her father rather than drawing closer to her Mum. Whereas Kalden’s world was tethered and tied to a missionary family whose only hope in life was to bring education to his village; yet the prejudice his village gave them in return shattered his hopes for a familial connection. Each of them were searching for something outside the tangible and outside the scope of what they fully understood. Life is lived forward and understood only in the hours in which we truly take a pause to resolve the angst of our souls.

An emotionally gutting story about two entwined soul mates who are magnetically connected to each other despite distance and circumstances attempting to separate them. My heart was full, my head was wrenched with a desire to know the ending, but it is not an ending you want to rush. You have to go through each step of the narrative, allowing their story (Patricia & Kalden) to absorb into you and become a part of you. Theirs is a love story that lifts up your own soul as you read the passages, and gives new meaning of hope through the transcendence of love set against the greatest odds two people could ever want to survive. This started out as an adopted daughter seeking her birth parents, but in the end, it is about a romance between two people who were forbidden from being together and found solace in their union.

Time Shift rather than Time Slip:

I appreciated the flow of the story being encapsulated inside of a ‘time shift’ rather than a ‘time slip’ sequencing, as it gave a strong sense of each character’s reality as the story was told. The start of the novel itself was with a proposition of unearthing information about Amy’s birth parents, yet it is where her journey takes her to find her birth mother & birth father that has such a confluence of drama and heart;  you will find that you do not want to put the book down! The pacing is set to its own rhythm as each chapter unfolds a new piece of either Patricia or Kalden’s lives, taking us one step closer to understanding who they were as adults. The novel is also broken into two distinctive parts, where the latter of the two is the summation of the whole.

A Note of Appreciation on behalf of the writing style of Ms. Harris:

This is the second novel I have read on behalf of Ms. Harris, and it is her début novel! I am thankful that I have had the honour to read two of her novels now, as her writing style within the heart of the narrative is fully conjoined, as she is a writer who puts her heart into her pen. She writes her heart out, and I will always appreciate that style, as it mirrors my own. I even appreciate the fact that she can move and shift through locations, time sequences, and elements of distinction between where her characters and story are set alive. She has the ability to become a chameleon as she writes one story to the next. This is a quality that is appreciated because she gives us such an intense view of her worlds and characters, with a pulse on who they are and how they lived that each story becomes an experience your willingly thankful to have had afterwards.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This book review is courtesy of ChocLitUK,

ChocLitUK Reviewer

Previously I have happily hosted Ms. Harris three times on Jorie Loves A Story:

a book review of A Bargain Struck,

an Author Guest Post on behalf of writing Western Fiction,

and an Author Guest Post on behalf of The Road Back.

check out my upcoming bookish events and mark your calendars!

#ChocLitSaturdays | a feature exclusive to Jorie Loves A Story

*NEWSFLASH* : Each Saturday henceforth onward from here in July shall feature a new ChocLit book review! For the updated schedule, please visit my Bookish Events page! The next novel I will be reading & sharing my thoughts on will be “Flight to Coorah Creek” by Janet Gover!

For those who are unware of #ChocLitSaturdays, the chat, we meet regular @ 11am EST / 4pm London! I created the chat to encourage new readers to discover not only the ChocLit novels I am showcasing & reading through my blog feature of the same name, but to help draw a close knit group of Romance booklovers, writers, and appreciators together for an hour of solid friendship and wicked sweet conversation!

All are welcome to attend! Tweet me or leave a comment in this thread for further details!

{SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsis, and Book Cover were provided by ChocLitUK and were used by permission. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in FotoFlexer. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Saturday, 5 July, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Adoption, Blog Tour Host, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Modern British Literature, Monastery, Monk, Mother-Son Relationships, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Abuse, Religious Orders, Romance Fiction, Time Shift, Writing Style & Voice

*Blog Book Tour*: Illuminations by Mary Sharratt

Posted Friday, 1 November, 2013 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Parajunkee Designs

Illuminations: {A novel of Hildegard von Bingen} by Mary Sharratt

Iluminations by Mary Sharratt Book Tour HFVBT
Published ByHoughton Mifflin Harcourt, 9 October, 2012
Published By: Mariner Books, 15 October, 2013 [paperback edition]
Official Author Websites: Sharratt on Facebook; Sharratt on Twitter;
Personal Website and Blog.
Available Formats: Paperback, Hardback, and E-Book
Page Count: 288

Acquired Book By: Winning a contest adverted through “Shelf Awareness for Readers” bi-weekly newsletter, October 2012. I received the hardcover book direct from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt without obligation to post a review. When I started to work with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, I made a request to join this book tour, as due to different reasons I have not yet had the pleasure of reading this book! I thought it would be lovely to participate in a blog book tour on behalf of a book I was rather intrigued to start reading! I was thankful to be selected to participate on the tour! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts herein.

Original Interest to Read: I originally had discovered the author and the book on Book Browse prior to seeing the contest on Shelf Awareness. I was swept away by the research, the passion, and the dedication Sharratt enfused into the book “Illuminations” as it was not only a historical biography of a woman very few of us would have uncovered without her efforts, but it felt like a living testament of how the strength of a woman can make a marked change on the world around her. I have always celebrated the lives of women who stand up for social injustice as well as indoctrinated wrongs that others’ might be too passive to attack themselves. As women, we’re given a beautiful gift of being able to use our enlightened minds for the power of positive change, and I felt as I read the synopsis and words on this book, that that is exactly the type of story that would envelope me if I read Hildegard’s story.

Design HMary SharrattAuthor Biography:

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.

Book Synopsis:

Skillfully weaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Illuminations brings to life one of the Illuminations by Mary Sharrattmost 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.

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Out of Darkness and Anguish,…

The opening bits of Illuminations, is guttingly honest and real, as Hildegard is in her elder years of seventy on the brink of eighty, whilst on the precipice of a vengeful storm requiring sufferance! Her longanimity of the impeding darkness that is about to swirl around herself and the daughters’ in her charge is of impeccable clarity! How she endeavoured to have the forethought to circumvent the discretion of a buried soul with the full knowledge of how severely the act would affect her, is beyond comprehension; except to say, her raw courage was fully illumine from a source greater than the wrath of man! The quotation that Sharratt used as preface to Chapter One, taken from Hildegard’s own writings on how she foresaw the Feminine Divine is stirringly moving to the point of feeling an inward sense of calm. Which you reflect upon whilst reading where we enter her life at such an arduous time that bespeaks a greater evocable merit of trust. I had a forbearance of knowing, that her humble protection of humanity will become the forefront of her life.

Her solitude of being cast into a brick tiered wall of the Anchorite chamber made me lament about how at such a young age of eight she was sent into darkness to seek out the light. Her anguish for losing her innocence and childhood vexed her as she grew accustomed to being shrouded in a tomb. Her only outside contact was through a grate and a window on high that allowed in bits of the outside world through its portal. I wondered how she fought her discourse to crave into an inward spiral and instead, constantly found the ability to dig deeper and seek out the light. I think if she had not been blessed with the orbs (visions), she might have lost herself in that dark space whilst she spent her young years on a sojourn for learning and knowledge. Her life lessons came to her abruptly at an age where most of us are still exploring our environments, testing the wills of independence, and finding our voice, confidence, and the path of interest we wish to walk as we age.

To illumine the mind and strengthen the spirit,…

I have always known of the interconnectedness of humanity, the natural world, and the realm behind the veil of this world which is the gateway to spirit world. Each of us is connected to each other and to what is not yet understood though believed to be in existence on faith alone. What I appreciated about reading Hilegard’s story is that she is touching on the elemental truths that each spiritual person comes to realise and accept: the circle of life and of time, the abundance of the interlocking connections, and how we are only in the infancy of our understandings of the greater whole that we strive to obtain whilst we walk Earth.

By examining her life through this biographic exposition, we are striving to become closer to understanding what she came to understand herself. Each of us are given gifts in life to share and pass down, small legacies of goodwill, hope, peace, love, charity, and grace. We tap into where our lifepath is leading us whilst we are openly receptive to where we are being guided to go next. Hilegard was unique in this, as she viewed herself as a flawed human who made more mistakes than deemed repentable, and yet, she could not help acknowledge that she had become a vessel of truth, as chosen as her destiny to give others’ insight that they were not privy too. She reminds me of women I have heard about prior to her, who never felt they were good enough to be placed in a position of importance. How humbling it is then, to realise that these are the women and spiritual beings who are called upon to do the most good during their lifetime!? To ingenuate a plausibility of which most of us might forego or bypass whilst caught up in the clatterment of living our lives!?

A wordsmith of Divine Grace:

The words in which consume Illuminations, are set on a higher keeling of intellect, that draw the reader forward and back into a time whereupon the essence of explaining the Divine in singular breaths of words was not as readily forthright to convey, as it was a time in need of edifying the truth by which was shown to the limited few who could hear the Voice. Sharratt has undertaken a gift for channeling the words of which Hildegard herself might have used to express not only the experiences of her life, but of the time in which she lived. The story begins in 1177, set on the cusp between the 12th and 13th centuries, in a time of harrowing and clandestine turmoil. And, yet Sharratt has a way of speaking through the essence of Hildegard as though we can be transported back into her timescape, wholly aware of her surroundings, and seeing everything unfold as it once did for her. Including glimmerments of her internal thoughts and emotional angst. There are poetic ruminations throughout the text that draw you into the story and let’s your imagination not skip forward off the page your eyes are consuming.

Hilegard’s humbleness is infused with her fortitude, for not only being a woman in high regard in her abbey but to have reached an apex of celebrity amongst her peers in the Church and Orders, due to her gift for visionary prophecies. Her elucidate nature of being a woman who thinks before she speaks, and one who doesn’t falter in will when she is taken unawares proves that she internally had strengthened herself long ago in her younger years to be anchored to her faith.

Review of Illuminations:

Hilegard von Bingen was a Renaissance Woman ahead of her time, given the hour of her birth and the compass point of her life. Alongside da Vinci, she embarked on not only ascertaining a living truth of Latin and Religion, but of each interconnected subject and topic that would cross sect with an interest that was at the tip of importance for knowledge of what would become imparted to her through visionary grace. She was a formidable woman whose humble nature did not wish to extract her weaknesses, but rather shed light on them for what they were and to utilize her strengths when necessity demanded them.

As a young child growing up surrounded by the Crusades, she was given her first taste of the visions that would later set the course of her life. I was touched by how genuinely innocent they were and how frequent they would visit her, hoping to find a way for her to yield to her gift. I’d imagine that most youngsters at the age of five might rather attempt to ‘fit in’ than to be cast out as an enigma! For this, I musefully could understand her reasoning! How she drew upon a strength of resolve to survive her cast into an Anchorite Order at the age of eight, I do not readily know! Yet, she embodied a pure caste of curiosity, which strove for her to further her knowledge, and learn as much as her mind could encompass. In that regard, I believe her will to learn became her first saving grace whilst she was entombed as an Anchorite.

I was not quite prepared for how long her term as an Anchorite would last, as she was well into her mid-thirties when I realised just how long she had been in captivity! She even sacrificed her own freedom to save two young girls whose plight in life would have been doubly worse than had they joined her. My heart ached for all three of them, and for the fourth, Jutta who long ago had given up on living, wretched by a transgression made against her and blackened against all light and love. They had few moments of joy, but for the most part, their lives were endured by an endless see of ritual, rite, and prayer.

Hilegard’s inner resolve to find peace with her faith and with her lot in life is a testament to how we each struggle to make sense of the circumstances that arise that lay obstacles in our path. Each of us is walking our own path towards understanding, for where we are meant to live as much as how we are meant to live. Her solitude from the outside world provided her with wisdom that even she, I dare not think, could fully grasp or understand. She was given visions of knowledge that fall outside the realm of what we would regularly be led to see. Her maternal nature I think, is one of her greatest gifts, as she unearthed of all the attributes that we are bestowed it’s our ability to love and give love that counts the most on high.

In the midst of lost hope, she found liberty and justice. Her heart swelled for the freedom which she was finally granted to live as a proper nun, rather than an entombed Anchorite. I could relate to her attachment to the natural world and the calm balm of insight and mirth that walking in nature can give you. She found God’s light and joy nestled amongst the woods, herbs, and flowers. As much as basking in the glow of the warming sun. How I have oft found myself swept into warm embrace that walking in nature can afford! If we look keenly, we shall see His light wherever we turn.

Illluminations is an apt title to give this story, because it is also its central theme. The luminescent purity of God’s spoken word igniting itself into her mind, heart, and soul. And, yet, Illuminations also spoke to me of the whispers of truth and guidance that sometimes we try to sweep away, not willing to accept them for what they are and for the reason by which they were given to us. I think the best gift of her life is to remain true to ourselves, but yield to the will of God even if the path He is placing in front of us has its share of tribulations, it’s the bits we cannot yet see that come through on the other side of our discomfort that lead to our restitution.

A note of gratitude:

I am always fervently thankful for authors who conduct intensive research to breathe life into their stories with such an exquisite hand of probable narrative, that when you go to read a biographical fiction accountment of a life once lived, that there are enough pieces and fragments of the person etched into the text your reading. I am thankful to say, it would appear that Sharratt is one such writer who is happily consumed and entrenched in the work that goes into fortifying the story with historical remnants and facts. I haven’t read other biographies of Hilegard von Bingen, as this is the first book that tipped my hat of interest towards learning more about her, but the voice of Hilegard inside Illuminations is one that begs you to give her a chance to say her peace. She’s an unassuming woman whose faith tested her in ways that not all of us could have endured. She appears to have longed for a bit of normalcy even within the confines of her vows, which thankfully, if history and fact are correct in this account, she at least found a bit of that when the bricks of her hidden prison were taken down.

Sharratt gives you a lot to chew on whilst your reading, from the way in which she paints the visions to life, to the contemplations of the human spirit, the Divine Grace, and the elements of faith and spirituality itself. She gives you a hearty tome of reflection and presents a woman who lived in touch with the Feminine Divine. I marked this as “Inspirational Fiction” as I think it befits that declaration as much as “Historical Fiction” and “Biographical Fiction”, as religion and spirituality are at the core and heart of this story, yet the time in which she lived is so far removed from modern eras it’s historically inclined to be reflective of how we perceive the 12th Century through the modern lens we approach it by.

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“Illuminations” Book Trailer by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Converse About “Illuminations”
via the Discussion Guide:

[ IF you have read the book, I encourage you to open a conversation
in the comments section below!]

Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen by Mary Sharratt — Discussion Questions

by Houghton Miffton Harcourt

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The “Iluminations” Virtual Book Tour Roadmap:
  1. 14 October: Review @ The Maiden’s Court
  2. 15 October: Review (from 2012) Interview @ Unabridged Chick
  3. 16 October: Review @ Bitches with Books
  4. 17 October: Review @ Flashlight Commentary
  5. 17 October: Review @ A Bookish Libraria
  6. 18 October: Interview @ Flashlight Commentary
  7. 21 October: Review @ Book of Secrets
  8. 22 October: Review @ The Most Happy Reader
  9. 22 October: Review @ Book Lovers Paradise
  10. 23 October: Review @ Books, Belles, and Beaux
  11. 23 October: Review @ Confessions of an Avid Reader
  12. 24 October: Review @ Just One More Chapter
  13. 24 October: Guest Post @ Books, Belles, and Beaux
  14. 25 October: Interview @ Just One More Chapter
  15. 28 October: Review @ Bloggin’ bout Books
  16. 29 October: Review @ Griperangs Bookmarks
  17. 29 October: Guest Post @ HF Book Muse – News
  18. 30 October: Review @ Ageless Pages Reviews
  19. All Saint’s Day: Review @ Jorie Loves A Story
  20. All Saint’s Day: Review @ Broken Teepee
  21. 4 November: Review @ Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
  22. 5 November: Review @ The True Book Addict
  23. 5 November: Interview @ Erika Mailman Blog
  24. 6 November: Review @ CelticLady’s Reviews
  25. 6 November: Guest Post @ The True Book Addict
  26. 7 November: Review @ Oh, For the Hook of a Book!
  27. 8 November: Review @ History and Women
  28. 8 November: Interview @ Oh, For the Hook of a Book!
  29. 11 November: Review @ A Bookish Affair
  30. 11 November: Review @ Closed the Cover
  31. 12 November: Review @ vvb32reads
  32. 12 November: Guest Post @ A Bookish Affair
  33. 13 November: Review @ The Musings of ALMYBNENR
  34. 14 November: Review @ So Many Books, So Little Time
  35. 14 November: Feature @ Book-alicious Mama
  36. 15 November: Review @ Books in the Burbs
  37. 16 November: Book Spotlight @ Passages to the Past
IF you want to follow the conversation by Twitter, please tune into: #IlluminationsTour There is also a Twitter share button below this post for your convenience as well.

Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTon my Bookish Events Featured on JLAS

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Illuminations” as well as Mary Sharratt’s photograph and biography, the blog tour badge, and the logo banner for HFVBT were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. The book trailer by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as well as the discussion guide via Scribd had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Post dividers were provided by Shabby Blogs, who give bloggers free resources to add personality to their blogs. Blog tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. }

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

Related Articles:

Hildegard of Bingen – (en.wikipedia.org)

Polymath – (en.wikipedia.org)

Doctor of the Church – (en.wikipedia.org)

Primary Source Breaththrough! – Hilegard’s Letter to the Prelates of Mainz (symphonialisestanima.wordpress.com)

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Posted Friday, 1 November, 2013 by jorielov in 12th Century, Benedictine Abbess, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Book Browse, Christian Mystic, Composer, Early Middle Ages [the Dark Ages] (1001-1300), High Middle Ages (1000-1299), Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Nun, Philosopher, Polymath, Scribd, Shelf Awareness, Writer