Confessions of a Pagan Nun

Confessions of a Pagan Nun

by Kate Horsley
4.7 15


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Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley

Cloistered in a stone cell at the monastery of Saint Brigit, a sixth-century Irish nun secretly records the memories of her Pagan youth, interrupting her assigned task of transcribing Augustine and Patrick. She also writes of her fiercely independent mother, whose skill with healing plants and inner strength she inherited. She writes of her druid teacher, the brusque but magnetic Giannon, who first introduced her to the mysteries of written language. But disturbing events at the cloister keep intervening. As the monastery is rent by vague and fantastic accusations, Gwynneve's words become the one force that can save her from annihilation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570629136
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 09/28/2002
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 560,147
Product dimensions: 4.97(w) x 7.22(h) x 0.49(d)

About the Author

Kate Horsley lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and teaches creative writing at Central New Mexico Community College. A poet as well as a novelist, Horsley has a PhD in American Studies and has published five novels. Her book A Killing in a New Town was the winner of the 1996 Western States Book Award for Fiction.

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Confessions of a Pagan Nun 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Maegmel More than 1 year ago
This book makes you think, I had originally bought it because I thought that it was more along the historical fiction lines, while it is a historical fiction book, it might as well be true because not only is it moving (the ending was so tragic it almost made me cry), but more importantly it makes you think about a period of history that is so often forgotten....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gwynneve, the pagan nun, recounts her life with honesty, humor, loss, joy and fear. She is caught between her pagan upbringing and the Christian faith that is sweeping over her native Ireland. Her words are simple yet laden with complex thoughts and emotions. Her perspective is innocently logical and she clings to it right up until her end. Gwynneve's poignant manuscript is beautifully written and a testament to all the ordinary lives that lived and died during the Dark Ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very fine read and excellent story portraying the rugged life of a monastic Irish woman. It seems so real to be fiction and I would like to bet it is non fiction in part.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brilliant comparisons and contrasts are made between Paganism and Christianity....until a third marvelous option is arrived at - and claimed - by the Pagan Nun, a brave, natural, honest, thinking woman who painfully sifts and sorts out the unvarnished truth for herself. In riveting story form - a stunning addition to any Women's Studies program world-wide. Eleanor Cowan, author of : A History of a Pedophile's Wife
OHARADN More than 1 year ago
Excellent. Not what I expected. Definately thought-provoking, interesting and complex. It is not the Plot of what happens that will keep you reading. It is the internal process of dear Gwynneve.
Vranitzky More than 1 year ago
The Abiding Wisdom of a Sixth Century Woman I consider Confessions of a Pagan Nun to be a wisdom book. It is among the most beautiful books I have ever read. Set in early 6th Century Ireland, approximately 50 years after St. Patrick's Declaration, it is a portrait of the final transition from Pagan to Christian Ireland. A novel, it purports to be the confessions of Gwynneve, long an apprentice to one of the last Druid priests (a master of languages) and now a Catholic nun at the Convent of St. Brigit. She writes of both her past life and her present life, in alternating chapters. For her, having lived her life as a Pagan, and having converted to Christianity more by choice than conscience -- a necessary survival move -- she begins to discover a deep commonality between her old Pagan beliefs and her new Christian beliefs. In the course of this profoundly life-affirming but ultimately tragic novel, what she finally unearths within the bottomless precincts of her own mind, heart, and spirit is a profound womanly wisdom and understanding. The ending made me weep long and hard. There's magic here, in the oldest, best senses -- the magic of life itself, and the healing magic of storytelling, in its ability to powerfully remind us of that fact.
ouch2om More than 1 year ago
It's a short novel and a bit difficult to get into, but I feel very rewarding. It's told from the perspective of a woman who was raised Pagan and chooses Christianity, but struggles with her upbringing and current choices. It helps with a bit of perspective about that time period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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cuivre More than 1 year ago
This book's voice is poetic, its point is true, and its historical aspects are fascinating. This book caught my eye in the library, I read it nodding my head, and I have just bought it to add to my permanent bookshelves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Captivating w/ an elegantly humane voice. This is a book that all who struggle with the faith of now and that of their ancestors should read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are Irish, Catholic and a woman you will be fascinated by this novel that reads like a non-fiction journal. This story will enlighten you to the religious traditions that existed before the Catholic Church became prominent in Ireland. It is magical, intriguing and speaks of justice vs injustice. This wonderful read will urge you to learn more about your pagan roots.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book appeals to the mind and the heart. It's an escape that takes you somewhere enriching, somewhere that makes you think and feel. It's set in the Dark Ages of Ireland and written as though a woman's journal of her struggles with human suffering and religious doubt. There's a lot here. It's a short book, but a lot happens, from passionate love to loss and revelation. I wanted more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to keep reminding myself that this book was fiction-- not an ancient artifact discovered in some long-forgotten Irish nook or cranny. If you are intrigued by all things medieval, Ireland, philosophy, religion, women's history, or great story-telling, this is a must-read.