"The book that the whole literary world can't stop talking about." --Marie Claire (Australia)
"A considerable achievement." --Sarah Dunant, The New York Times Book Review
England, 1255: Sarah is only seventeen when she chooses to become an anchoress, a holy woman shut away in a small cell, measuring seven by nine paces, at the side of the village church. Fleeing the grief of losing a much-loved sister as well as the pressure to marry, she decides to renounce the world--with all its dangers, desires, and temptations--and commit herself to a life of prayer. But when she starts hearing the voice of the previous anchoress whispering to her, seemingly from the stones themselves, it soon becomes clear that even the thick, unforgiving walls of Sarah's cell cannot protect her as well as she had thought.
An absorbing story of faith, desire, shame, fear, and the human need for connection, The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader is a haunting and compelling novel: both quietly heartbreaking and thrillingly unpredictable.
It's not often that a stunning new Australian novel comes to an agent via a Twitter call out. It's not often that a novel comes along that makes everyone in the publishing house stop, read and fall in love with it. It's not often that we get to publish a novel which has been the subject of a major bidding war and will be published simultaneously by Faber in the UK and Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the US. It's not often that we get a novel like The Anchoress.