England, 1255. What could drive a girl on the cusp of womanhood to lock herself away from the world forever? -from Goodreads
The 1200’s was an exciting time in many ways. But, not if you were a woman.
In The Anchoress, I learned about yet another way in which women were treated poorly by the male dominated church. Apparently, the anchoress was an actual calling where the woman chose to be walled up near or in a church in order to move closer to God.
The people who walled up the woman left a small window for food and waste to pass through. That was the extent of her interaction with the outside world. How messed up was that.
Sarah, the anchoress in this story, chooses the position for a variety of reasons, but they’re not all that mysterious. The description of the book plays it up as a mystery which the reader will figure out in probably five pages or so.
I enjoyed this book more for the historical details of the period.
The interesting part is when Sarah starts to go bonkers (no big surprise there) and her confessor tries to keep her straight. That particular drama was gripping even though most of the action took place in one room.
If you enjoyed The Anchoress, you may want to read A Triple Knot by Emma Campion or Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross.
Thanks for reading!