"Selfish is the heart that thinks first of itself."
I had completely forgotten about this series and that I had to catch up reading it. I was so pleasantly surprised by this book it is my favorite in the series so far! If you haven't heard of the Order of Solace then let me tell you quickly. A group of women decide to offer their lives to bring solace to others. In whatever way it's required. They become Handmaidens for this purpose. Their lives are supposed to be selfless and devoted to others. Most people on the outside see them as whores.
In the previous books we've encountered a handmaiden sent to a patron who has gone off the deep end and they have to turn their lives around. This book was different. We actually get a glimpse of the life of a Handmaiden. It was a refreshing and different twist in the series.
Annalise, such a pretty name (very close to my mom's), discovers that her fiance might be attracted to other things instead of her (mainly boys not girls) and creates a plan to get out of the weddng without major complications by saying she had a vision and that she is to become a Handmaiden. Of course without the true desire to service, when she gets there, a lot of what is required of her seems difficult to understand.
But she adapts well and learns a lot about herself. In this journey she also meets a man. Cassian is a professor at the Order, he used to be a priest and he has had a lot of heartache in his past that for the most part he has not gotten over.
I loved both characters and how they helped each other grow and understand each other. I was waiting for a resolution to their issues and Ms. Hart leaves us waiting until the last possible second. The writing? As always superb! Delicate and beautiful, it flows and transports you to the story. I can't wait to read the next book!