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Mary Sharratt Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Summit Avenue (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Real Minerva (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Vanishing Point (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Daughters of the Witching Hill (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Illuminations (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dark Lady's Mask (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ecstasy (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Revelations (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Mary Sharratt is an American historical fiction author who has said that her mission is to get women back into the pages of history. The author was born and bred in Minnesota but she now makes her home on the Silver Coast town of Obidos in Portugal.
Sharratt made her fiction writing debut by penning short stories and the first was the 1999 published collection of short stories “The Anatomy of a Mermaid.” She made her debut writing long-form fiction in 2000 when she published the single-standing novel “Summit Avenue.”
Mary is known for researching different eras and settings in history and making use of female characters to pen her groundbreaking historical fiction works.

For instance, she published “Daughters of the Witching Hill” since she lived in Lancashire, England’s Pendle region, which she would recast as the setting where cunning healers practiced their craft.

She combined her interest in herbal medicine and sacred music to pen “Illumintions,” which is an exploration of the life and times of polymath, and composer Hildegard von Bingen.

Sharratt has won many awards over the years including the WILLA Literary Award, and the Nautilus Gold Award. Her essays and articles have also been featured in the likes of Historical Novels Review, the Wall Street Journal, Minnesota Magazine, and the Huffington Post among many others.

Growing up, Mary Sharratt was a huge fan of books and particularly loved to read Frances Hodges’s “Burnett’s The Secret Garden.” She loved everything about the story and often yearned to melt into the beautiful forbidden garden behind the wall.
She was also crazy about horses as a kid but could not get access to them and often found refuge reading the horse books by Marguerite Henry.

When she was in her teenage years, Mary Sharrat read “The Moon and the Virgin” by Nor Hall and this completely changed her life. The work opened her up to the reality of fairy tales, archetypes, and myths, particularly as they relate to reclaiming women’s inner power and lost stories.
In fact, the epigraph on her debut novel is derived from the novel as she refers to fairy tales and myths as essential psychic facts as opposed to stories for children that are just made up.
As an adult, some of the books she likes to read include “White Houses” by Amy Bloom, Greer Macallister’s “Girl in Disguise,” and Sara Maitland’s “A Book of Silence.”

If she was stranded on some desert island what she would want with her is Grimms Fairy Tales. She has said that she loves that the stories often come with some strong female protagonists and often are full of meaning and depth.

Despite the fact that Mary Sharratt was a voracious reader, she has said that it is writing that chose her. For the longest time, she has always had stories playing in the back of her head. She was very lucky to be raised in an era where TV and computer games were not such a huge influence.

Growing up, she used to play elaborate games in her backyard inventing long convoluted stories and inventing characters some of whom she would later make into her bestselling novels.

Nonetheless, it was not until she moved to Innsbruck, Austria that she began seriously writing fiction. She had moved there in 1988 to teach at a Catholic school that needed an English teacher and soon ran out of books since she did not have a TV.
To wind down in the evenings, she began penning a story that had been in her head for several years. It was this work that would later become her debut novel “Summit Avenue.” While it began as a secret indulgence and escape writing in longhand in a spiral notebook, it has now become part of who she is.

Mary Sharratt’s “Daughters of the Witching Hill” is set in Lancashire, England in 1612 at a time when witch trials just resulted in the execution of nine women.

In this work, Sharratt reimagines that time and wonders if some of the accusations made could have had some truth. Sharratt tells the story of Bess Southerns, a widowed mother from Pendle Forest.

Bess is trying to save her family which is suffering from bleak poverty. She blesses those facing misfortune, tells fortunes, heals the sick, and conjures charms that combine forbidden religious rituals guidance provided by Tibb her spirit friend, and medicinal herbs.
While Bess uses her powers with compassion, Alizon her granddaughter unwittingly puts her family in danger while being interrogated by a cunning local magistrate.

Sharratt crafts what is a credible but complex account as she seamlessly blends modern psychology, historical fact, and a vivid description of the life of the poor who can only hope to improve their lot using the black arts.
Set in villages and farms, towers and forests, on the gallows, and deep in a dungeon it makes for a dark novel that only grows darker as it comes to an inevitable conclusion.

“Illuminations” by Mary Sharratt is an imaginative retelling of what has to be the most fascinating account of the life of Hildegard von Bingen the 12th-century nun. She was born the 10th child in her family and was given to the church at age eight, as a form of tithe.
She would then become a handmaiden to Jutta von Spoinheim, the troubled but devout clergyman. The two are entombed in a German anchorage as brides of Christ, where they endure monastic imprisonment for the better part of three decades.
During their imprisonment, Hildegard has all manner of divine visions but when her anchoress ultimately dies, she is offered all the freedom she needs in the abbey. However, the newfound freedom only results in higher-intensity visions and a desire to have her revelations become manifest.

Hildegard’s impulses are roundly rebuked by the monks but since she spent years with Jutta, she has a very strong resolve. She soldiers on and composes 78 songs, pens hundreds of letters to royalty, popes, and emperors, and would become the founder of two monasteries.
While it is for the most part confined to a small cast in the abbey, it is a gripping story for the most part about relationships made under pressure.

Mary Sharratt’s “The Vanishing Point” is a work with foreboding and sexual tension that makes for a clumsy but engaging colonial potboiler.

The work chronicles the life and times of May and Hannah Powers two sisters that have been very close growing up with their father who is a doctor.

May was sent to be married in Maryland but when Hannah goes to visit her she is informed by her sister’s husband that her sister died while giving birth. Hannah suspects something fishy went down and starts to investigate even though she is soon romantically involved with her brother-in-law.

It makes for an intriguing work of fiction that is interesting, well-researched, and very unpredictable.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Mary Sharratt

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