... stunning ... a fascinating and important story ... It can't be easy to depict religious ecstasies without their seeming nutty, but Sharratt — by turns lofty and gritty in her prose — pulls it off, letting us choose for ourselves whether Margery Kempe was the real deal. Knowing what we know now about the human psyche, curated history and Church politics, I'm inclined to think — thanks to Sharratt's thorough research and compelling narrative — that she was.
Throughout Sharratt’s compelling novel, Margery’s...persistence will charm readers ... Sharratt captures Margery’s mysticism beautifully, even for this skeptical reader ... Her trail is littered with snarling priests and jealous men who want to restrict her movement, claim her body, or snuff out her potentially heretical thoughts. These men can feel like masked demons in a pageant, spitting out venom for the pleasure of it. But in Margery’s first-person narrative, the superficial malevolence seems appropriate, a reflection of her victimization in a world unwilling to accommodate female agency.
Sharratt evokes the sights and smells of medieval England as viscerally as she does Margery’s divine ecstasy, immersing readers in both her inner and outer journeys. Though much of the danger is driven by the upheaval in the Catholic Church, Revelations will appeal to any reader interested in tales driven by a flawed woman with a certain purpose.