Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cindy Thompson's Brigid of Ireland ~ Reviewed

Brigid of Ireland
By Cindy Thomson
Monarch Books 2006
ISBN-13: 978-0-8254-6112-5

Brigid is born in 5th century pagan-dominated Ireland, the daughter of a slave woman, and a slave herself to her brutal father. Torn from her mother, desperately seeking love and acceptance, Brigid converts to the new religion popularized by the traveling preacher Patrick—and the miracles start.

But so does the opposition, from rulers and sorcerers opposed to her faith and growing fame. The Irish people cling to superstitions and fears. Can she overcome them—and face her hatred for her father? Can she find the mother she misses so acutely? Has she truly been called by God?

Brigid of Ireland is Cindy Thomson’s first novel. Her research is evident throughout the book with detailed accounts of the druid’s religion and the very real struggle between Christianity and paganism.

It is refreshing to see characterized the loving mother/daughter relationship between Brigid and Brocca. Their lengthy separation and subsequent reunion certainly plays a part in their strong bond of love, but I believe it’s their shared faith that knits them even tighter.

I must confess my annoyance with Brigid when faced with the decision to renounce her earthly Christian works such as feeding the poor and spreading the Gospel. Seems like a simple, albeit painful, choice to make, yet she takes the easy route and gives in. Silly girl. But upon reflection, how many times do I myself cave under pressure even when I know what the right choice should be?

Brigid of Ireland is a painless and entertaining exposure to the history of the Emerald Isles. There’s plenty of facts and truths minus the usual boring dates and names in a history textbook. If you’d like to brush-up or expand your knowledge of Ireland, this is the book for you.

Review by Michelle Griep

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