England, 1255: Sarah is only 17 when she chooses to become an anchoress, a holy woman shut away in a small cell, measuring seven paces by nine, at the side of the village church.
Fleeing the grief of losing a much-loved sister in childbirth and the pressure to marry, she decides to renounce the world, with all its dangers, desires, and temptations, and to commit herself to a life of prayer and service to God.
But as she slowly begins to understand, even the thick, unforgiving walls of her cell cannot keep the outside world away, and it is soon clear that Sarah's body and soul are still in great danger....
Robyn Cadwallader's powerful debut novel tells an absorbing story of faith, desire, shame, fear and the very human need for connection and touch. With a poetic intelligence, Cadwallader explores the relationship between the mind, body and spirit in Medieval England in a story that will hold the listener in a spell until the very last second.
"A detailed, sensuous and richly imagined shard of the past...emotionally engaging and vividly present." (Geraldine Brooks)
"Sarah’s story [in The Anchoress] is so beautiful, so rich, so strange, unexpected and thoughtful - also suspenseful...I loved this book." (Elizabeth Gilbert)
"Intense, atmospheric and very assured...this is one of the most eagerly anticipated novels of the year." (Caroline Baum)
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