The Anchoress Background

The Anchoress Background

The Anchoress (published in 2015) is set in 13th century England and tells the story of a young girl called Sarah. One day, Sarah decides to become what's called an anchoress, or a person that completely and totally withdraws from society for religious reasons. She does this, essentially, to grieve the loss of her sister and to escape from an arranged marriage. But Sarah quickly learns that her life as an anchoress will still be a hard and emotionally challenging one. She starts to become mad and acts in drastic and unsustainable ways, which ultimately leads her to challenge the village and her choice to become an anchoress itself.

Sarah Moss was one of the many reviewers who loved the book, writing that "This ambitious debut plays gracefully with 13th-century ideas about gender, power and writing." Kirkus Reviews wrote that Cadwallader's book is "Sympathetic, fully realized characters and good use of period details make this a winning work of historical fiction."

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