Heretics: A Love Story

Pearlsong Press
Free sample

In the 1480s, twin sister healers in a remote village in the mountainous Barbagia region of Sardinia encounter a heretic-obsessed Spanish priest.

Antonio Albóndiga is sent to Sardinia after mishaps in his homeland, and is eventually banished to the village of Orune. Half the villagers—including Sarda and Shardana—follow a pre-Christian religion, while the other half observe a makeshift version of Catholicism and paganism. 

Hate holds the priest's  heart hostage, and he scorns Sarda and Shardana's adherence to ancient ways. Despite their suspicions, the healers and their village attempt not only to accept the stranger but to transform him.

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About the author

A native of Seneca Falls, NY who lived in Minneapolis, MN for many years, Mary Saracino currently resides in Colorado. In addition to her work as a writer, Saracino teachers creative writing classes and workshops on the Divine Feminine. She is the author of four other books: The Singing of Swans, Voices of the Soft-Bellied Warrior, Finding Grace, and No Matter What. Her essays and fiction have been published in the anthologies Writing by Italian Canadian and Italian American Women, She is Everywhere, Don't Tell Mama! The Penguin Book of Italian American Writing, The Milk of Almonds: Italian American Women Write About Food and Culture, Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul, Hey Paesan! Writings by Lesbians & Gay Men of Italian Descent, the literary and cultural journals Italian Americana, Voices in Italian Americana, and Sinister Wisdom. Her poetry has been published in The New Verse News Online Journal, The Pedestal Magazine, Mothertongued.com, & Writers Who Cook.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Pearlsong Press
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Published on
Jun 21, 2014
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Pages
282
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ISBN
9781597190749
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Magical Realism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Mary Saracino
2007 Lambda Literary Awards finalist

The Singing of Swans tells the story of Madalene Ross, a thirty-year-old American who "lives in her head," cut off from her body, her heart, and her sense of purpose in the world. En route to and from her job as a computer programmer in Minneapolis, Madalene is hounded on the downtown streets by a homeless woman who asks "Got a match?" At night bizarre dreams haunt her sleep. Women fly through rooftops, chant in ancient temples, paint tongues of fire on vivid white canvases.

Madalene's story is interwoven with the lives of three women: Rosalina, a priestess of Persephone in 70 B.C.E. Sicily; Ziza, a strega (Italian witch) in 16th century northeastern Italy, and Ibla, an herbalist and painter in 18th century southern Italy. Sicily's Lake Pergusa and the Black Madonna also act as a portal to the rich tradition of pre-Christian spirituality that lies beneath Church dogma.

The Singing of Swans takes readers on a multi-century journey to uncover long-silenced traditions, crack Madalene's spiritual code and reclaim her soul. Elements of magical realism dovetail with historical storytelling as this compelling tale of redemption unfolds.

"The Singing of Swans is a remarkable narrative calling -- even compelling -- us to connect with our own ancestral roots, to seek our own inner wisdom, and to reclaim, our own inner voices," says Margaret Starbird, author of The Woman with the Alabaster Jar & Mary Magdalene: Bride in Exile.

"The Roman poet Ovid sang of the beautiful Sicilian lake where Persephone descended to the otherworld -- a lake now dying from overdevelopment," says Patricia Monaghan, author of The Goddess Path and The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog. "No siren's song could be more commanding than this novel centered on that magical lake. Generations of women of the streghe tradition -- call them pagans, call them witches -- join their voices in this tightly wrought magical chorus."

Daniel Quinn
One of the most beloved and bestselling novels of spiritual adventure ever published, Ishmael has earned a passionate following among readers and critics alike. This special twenty-fifth anniversary edition features a new foreword and afterword by the author, as well as an excerpt from My Ishmael.

TEACHER SEEKS PUPIL.
Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.

It was just a three-line ad in the personals section, but it launched the adventure of a lifetime.

So begins an utterly unique and captivating novel. In Ishmael, which received the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship for the best work of fiction offering positive solutions to global problems, Daniel Quinn parses humanity’s origins and its relationship with nature, in search of an answer to this challenging question: How can we save the world from ourselves?
 
Praise for Ishmael

“As suspenseful, inventive, and socially urgent as any fiction or nonfiction you are likely to read this or any other year.”—The Austin Chronicle

“Before we’re halfway through this slim book . . . we’re in [Daniel Quinn’s] grip, we want Ishmael to teach us how to save the planet from ourselves. We want to change our lives.”—The Washington Post

“Arthur Koestler, in an essay in which he wondered whether mankind would go the way of the dinosaur, formulated what he called the Dinosaur’s Prayer: ‘Lord, a little more time!’ Ishmael does its bit to answer that prayer and may just possibly have bought us all a little more time.”—Los Angeles Times
Mary Saracino; Mary Beth Moser
Mary Saracino
2007 Lambda Literary Awards finalist

The Singing of Swans tells the story of Madalene Ross, a thirty-year-old American who "lives in her head," cut off from her body, her heart, and her sense of purpose in the world. En route to and from her job as a computer programmer in Minneapolis, Madalene is hounded on the downtown streets by a homeless woman who asks "Got a match?" At night bizarre dreams haunt her sleep. Women fly through rooftops, chant in ancient temples, paint tongues of fire on vivid white canvases.

Madalene's story is interwoven with the lives of three women: Rosalina, a priestess of Persephone in 70 B.C.E. Sicily; Ziza, a strega (Italian witch) in 16th century northeastern Italy, and Ibla, an herbalist and painter in 18th century southern Italy. Sicily's Lake Pergusa and the Black Madonna also act as a portal to the rich tradition of pre-Christian spirituality that lies beneath Church dogma.

The Singing of Swans takes readers on a multi-century journey to uncover long-silenced traditions, crack Madalene's spiritual code and reclaim her soul. Elements of magical realism dovetail with historical storytelling as this compelling tale of redemption unfolds.

"The Singing of Swans is a remarkable narrative calling -- even compelling -- us to connect with our own ancestral roots, to seek our own inner wisdom, and to reclaim, our own inner voices," says Margaret Starbird, author of The Woman with the Alabaster Jar & Mary Magdalene: Bride in Exile.

"The Roman poet Ovid sang of the beautiful Sicilian lake where Persephone descended to the otherworld -- a lake now dying from overdevelopment," says Patricia Monaghan, author of The Goddess Path and The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog. "No siren's song could be more commanding than this novel centered on that magical lake. Generations of women of the streghe tradition -- call them pagans, call them witches -- join their voices in this tightly wrought magical chorus."

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