Brigid of Kildare

Brigid of Kildare

by Heather Terrell

Paperback

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Brigid of Kildare 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Sam1219 More than 1 year ago
Appraiser Alexandra Patterson has been called to Kildare when the Sisters of St. Brigid decide to sell some sacred relics to fund their proselytizing and attempts to rehabilitate the image of St. Brigid in Ireland and throughout the world. While studying one of the relics, Alexandra discovers an ancient manuscript hidden within a secret compartment. Based on the beauty of the illuminated manuscript and the estimated age of the relics, Alexandra believes the manuscript might be the lost Book of Kildare, an illuminated manuscript containing the four Gospels that is said to rival even the beauty of the Book of Kells. On an impulse, Alexandra "borrows" the manuscript as well as some letters she finds buried away and long forgotten in the church's archives and consults an old flame, Trinity College professor and expert Declan Lamb for help. What is the mystery document Alexandra has discovered and why was it hidden away? Who is Decius, the scribe whose name appears on the beautiful manuscript, and what was his relationship to Brigid? Originally sent there by Rome as a spy, did he fulfill his mission, did he find no evidence of the heresy he was sent to root out, or was he drawn in by Brigid's magnetic personality? Were Decius and Brigid scribe and abbess, friends, or lovers? Once Alexandra finds answers to her questions, how will she explain to her client why she took the manuscripts from their resting place within the church? Should the manuscript and letters be sold with the relics, or will the Catholic Church try to repress the content in them? SPOILER ALERT!!! I generally try to avoid any kind of spoilers in my reviews, but there are a few things that must be addressed in this case, so be warned. Here is where you should stop reading if you hate spoilers.... This imaginative story is told from two perspectives: Alexandra's quest for truth in modern times and Decius's mission for the church in the fifth century. The author does a good job of blending the two story lines, however, the device of Decius's letters to his brother, while convenient for revealing Decius's innermost thoughts and motivations, is awkward and contrived. A spy for Rome would never take the risk of revealing so much about his mission in writing in the first place, and if he did feel the need to so unburden his soul as a means of confession as Decius himself mentions as a reason for writing the letters, a spy would then burn the letters to mitigate the risk of getting caught. Additionally, if Brigid did indeed know Decius for a spy from the beginning as she later claims, someone with her warrior's background would never have allowed him access to the sensitive information in the scriptorium, in particular the banned texts, in the first place. Finally, while a nice dream, the Vatican's response to the manuscript and its sale seems naive and unrealistic as well. After actively--and often violently--suppressing any notion of texts other than those strictly defined by its own sanctioned councils, the idea that the Vatican would suddenly capitulate and tolerate any text, much less one as controversial and progressive as one in alignment with the Gospel of Mary the Mother (and without months and months of study, reflection, reevaluation, and miles of bureaucratic red tape), seems far-fetched. While it would be nice to think that the Vatican would be as open-minded as it is portrayed by Terrell, history suggests otherwise. Ending notwithstanding, however, the story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So my father got be this book in paper back like 10 yrs ago and the covers awesome but i thought eww i dont want to read this.... Idk if ive ever been so wrong, when i finally got to reading it a few nights ago i loved it and found myself enwrapped in the story about five pages in. Its so entangled with history and culture. Well ill just let you find out for your self but dont get turned away from the history part of it like i first did .. Its a short read but a great one ur two hours wont be wasted
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the paperback version... this book is a great read. It's a fictionalized portrait of St. Brigid of Kidare. Couldn't put the book down. It's a great read!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Brigid of Kildare Heather Terrell Ballantine, Feb 9 2010, $15.00 ISBN: 9780345505125 In Ireland desperately in need of money, the Sisters of St. Brigid plan to sell valuable ancient relics. They hire art appraiser Alexandra Patterson to evaluate their collection. Exhilarated with the assignment, Alex begins to catalogue the collection. However, she is stunned when she finds a beautifully scribed tome from apparently the fifth century. She wonders if this illuminated text could be the legendary lost Book of Kildare. Her colleague and former lover Trinity College Professor Declan Lamb supports her belief. Apparently the Church, fearing the imminent collapse of the Roman Empire could take them down too, turn aggressive against anyone who may cause dissension. In that regard, Brother Decius travels to Gael to accuse Abbess Brigid of heresy. Once there he finds her faith as inspiring and asks her to let him scribe her tale to convert the Gael pagans. As Heather Terrell did with The Map Thief, the author weaves a past and present duality into a delightful cohesive tale. The Brigid of Kildare subplot is a terrific look at the Church's efforts to survive the collapse of Rome mostly told through the relationship between Decius and the title Saint. However, the modern day art sleuths fail to attain the same level of caring and passion that the ancient couple possesses especially Brigid's efforts to bring the Gael to Christianity. Still fans will enjoy this fine thriller starring a woman whose belief was so strong she not just converted the locals, she persuaded the Roman to join her quest and leave readers admiring her. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous 3 months ago
Good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gives+me+new+insight+of+Brigid.+makes+me+glad+I+chose+Brigid+as+my+Confirmation+Saint+name.
Kasthu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Brigid of Kildare is a split-time novel. The story goes back and forth between Bridgid, a 5th-century woman chosen by Saint Patrick himself to convert the Irish into Christianity; and a modern-day appraiser of medieval objects named Alex, who is invited to Kildare to appraise a book that the nuns there own. The story is told as both a straight narrative and a series of letters written by a Roman spy named Decius, sent to Ireland to uncover possibly heresy.The idea of the story is appealing, but the execution of the book is rather lackluster, I¿m afraid. It¿s rare that I complain that a book I don¿t like is too short; but I thought that the story could have been fleshed out a lot more, especially the characters of Alexandra, who never comes across as more than a cold appraiser. Where¿s her personality? Even Brigid herself wasn¿t that appealing of a character, suffering from a lack of character development over the span of about 15 years. The author¿s grasp of early medieval Christianity is sound, but I thought she resorted to clichés in many places, especially when it came to the Irish people. Another reader here says that there¿s not a lot of historical detail here, and I agree with their assessment. In fact, had the headings of the chapters not given the dates, I wouldn¿t have known that parts of the book took place in the 5th century. The book might appeal to fans of religious fiction, but those looking for a good historical tale will be disappointed.
MaelBrigdeTWO on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In comparison with Cindy Thomson`s book of the same name: The structure of the novel and the writing generally is more sophisticated, although at no point does it become a compelling or memorable novel. The fact that it is more sophisticated could be deemed a mark against it, though, as it gives a greater sense of truthfulness to a book as flawed in its portrayal of history and hagiography, in some ways, as Thomson`s novel.
Schmooby-Doo More than 1 year ago
I read this in one sitting. History well blended with a modern day researcher. Brigid came alive for me. I wish there really WERE those ancient books. Excellent book.
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