Skip to main content

Revelations by Mary Sharratt: A Book Review

Author: Mary Sharratt
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian
Publisher: Mariner Books
Release Date: 2021
Pages: 318
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: A fifteenth-century Eat, Pray, Love, Revelations illuminates the intersecting lives of two female mystics who changed history—Margery Kempe and Julian of Norwich.

     Bishop’s Lynn, England, 1413. At the age of forty, Margery Kempe has nearly died giving birth to her fourteenth child. Fearing that another pregnancy might kill her, she makes a vow of celibacy, but she can’t trust her husband to keep his end of the bargain. Desperate for counsel, she visits the famous anchoress Dame Julian of Norwich.

     Pouring out her heart, Margery confesses that she has been haunted by visceral religious visions. Julian then offers up a confession of her own: she has written a secret, radical book about her own visions, Revelations of Divine Love. Nearing the end of her life and fearing Church authorities, Julian entrusts her precious book to Margery, who sets off the adventure of a lifetime to secretly spread Julian's words.

      Mary Sharratt vividly brings the medieval past to life as Margery blazes her trail across Europe and the Near East, finding her unique spiritual path and vocation. It's not in a cloistered cell like Julian, but in the full bustle of worldly existence with all its wonders and perils.

     My Review: Margery Kempe has been known in history to have written the first autobiography in English. She was a mystic who described her visions in her work. In Revelations, Margery is the wife of a brewer. She bore her husband fourteen children. After the birth of her fourteenth child, she makes a vow of celibacy. She makes plans for a departure on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Before she embarks, she meets the anchoress Julian of Norwich. The two strike up a spiritual friendship, and she tells Julian of Norwich her mystic visions. Julian of Norwich asks Margery to make her book, Revelations of Divine Love, spread throughout the world.

     Margery is a very remarkable and admirable protagonist. She feels worthless and trapped in a marriage in which she constantly has to bear children. She feels that her husband does not respect her, and that he merely regards her as chattel. Her only comfort through her long and broken marriage is God and her mystical visions. One day, she makes the courageous choice to leave her husband. She strikes up a friendship with Julian of Norwich, who does not condemn her but sees her as a sister in Christ. I really love Margery’s and Julian’s relationship. Julian of Norwich’s non-judgmental attitude had a profound and lasting effect on her. She inspires to be like Julian of Norwich, which was to love Christ and have faith in him. When people condemn Margery for leaving her husband and children to follow Christ, Margery keeps her head high. Throughout the novel, she is constantly tested on her faith. In the end, her faith in God helps her through her most difficult moments. Thus, Margery is very admirable because she grows stronger in her faith.

     Overall, this book is about freedom, faith, and friendship. I found many of the characters to be very complex. Revelations was a very mesmerizing novel. I read it in one sitting. Mrs. Sharratt made the medieval world come alive. The author also did an excellent job in portraying how women were regarded in the Middle Ages. The novel was also very fast-paced, for it depicted Margery’s pilgrimages and her infamous heresy trial. Revelations is a very compelling and thought-provoking novel that focuses on mysticism and spirituality in an intolerant society. I recommend this novel for fans of Hild, Julian’s Cell, and The Greenest Branch!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Popular posts from this blog

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

Blog Tour: A Noble Cunning: The Countess and the Tower by Patricia Bernstein

A Noble Cunning: The Countess and the Tower Author: Patricia Bernstein Publisher: History Through Fiction Release Date: March 7, 2023 Pages: 266 Synopsis: A Noble Cunning is a novel based on the true story of persecuted Catholic noblewoman Winifred Maxwell, who rescued her husband from the Tower of London with the help of a group of devoted women friends in 1716.            A Noble Cunning is a novel based on the life of Winifred Herbert Maxwell (1680-1749), who became the Countess of Nithsdale in 1699. Set amidst the 1715 Rebellion against England’s first German king, George I, the novel depicts the ruthless persecution of Catholics and the relentless determination of protagonist Bethan Glentaggart to save the life of husband Gavin after he is captured and condemned to death. Bethan faces down a mob attack on her home, travels alone from the Scottish Lowlands to London through one of the worst snowstorms in years, and petitions an indifferent king for her husband's mercy. As a l