Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant first published in 2009
By the second half 0f the sixteenth century, the price of wedding dowries had risen so sharply within Catholic Europe that most noble families could not afford to marry off more than one daughter.
The remaining young women were dispatched for a much lesser price into convents.
Historians estimate that in the great towns and city states of Italy, up to half of all noble women became nuns.
Not all went willingly!
This story takes place in the northern Italian city of Ferrara, in 1570 in the Convent of Santa Caterina.
This book makes interesting reading. It is also scary and cruel that so many young girls were forced to enter a convent when their intent was to get married and have a family.
...and so the story goes...
The convent of Santa Caterina in the city of Ferrara is filled with noble women married to Christ because their families can not afford husbands. Sixteen -year- old Serafina arrives, ripped from an illicit love affair, howling with rage and determined to escape...