Heretics: A Love Story
In the 1480s, Shardana and Sarda, 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 he's eventually banished to the village of Orune. Half the villagers—including the healers—follow a pre-Christian religion, while the other half observe a makeshift version of Catholicism and paganism. Hate holds the priest hostage, and he scorns Shardana and Sarda's adherence to ancient ways. Despite his intentions to harm them, the healers and the other villagers attempt to accept the stranger and transform his hardened heart.
To hear Mary reading an excerpt from the first chapter of Heretics, click on the audio button below.
"Heretics: A Love Story belongs in the highest echelon of classic literary fiction insofar as it educates and enlightens while entertaining the reader....Mary Saracino combines acute psychological acumen with extensive knowledge of history to create a novel that will engross your mind, grip your heart and inspire your soul."
Sandra Shwayder Sanchez, author of The Secret of a Long Journey
"Heretics: A Love Story reminds me of Grazia DeLedda's Canne al Vento, a book by the Sardinian Nobel Prize winner who first brought the Barbagia to the world's attention in 1926. The stellar aspect of Saracino's novel is that she incorporates all the Afrocentrist research that is no longer able to be suppressed. This is an enormous enterprise to which this novel makes a great contribution because it is so well-written. Saracino has managed to put into a compelling story what she learned firsthand when she traveled to Sardinia in 2004—and she has supported that with a mountain of research! Her psychological acuity makes the characters come alive. This novel is the best attempt that comes to mind of weaving together both scholarship and story writing."
Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum, Ph.D.Professor Emerita, The California Institute of Integral Studiesauthor of The Future Has an Ancient Heart: Legacy of Caring, Sharing, Healing and Vision from the Primordial African Mediterranean to Occupy Everywhere & Dark Mother: African Origins & Godmothers