For this month's read, my book group made a surprising choice (fiction! historical fiction!): Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant.
It took me a while to get interested in this one, despite the setting and my interest in religion. See my Goodreads review below:
We are introduced to St. Catherine's convent through the eyes of a reluctant novice. Dunant's storytelling keeps the reader intrigued with medieval Italy. The reader gets to experience religious life, contemporary healing techniques, a minor plague, the Counter-Reformation, and even, possibly, the miraculous.
Especially interesting to me was the continuous presence of medieval medicinal/healing techniques, since the main character of the novel is the convent's dispensary mistress. Combined with the presence of the miraculous and political intrigue, the story of the reluctant novice is a highly interesting read.