Heather Terrell's engaging and provocative new novel Brigid of Kildare tells the absorbing story of Saint Brigid and the discovery of the oldest illuminated manuscript in the annals of the Church-- a manuscript that conatins an astonishing secret history.
Inspired by Brigid's unshakable faith and tolerance, Bishop Patrick ordains her as Ireland's first and only female priest and bishop. Followers flock in droves to her Kildare abbey and scriptorium. But the Church, hearing rumors of this heretical and powerful woman, deems her a threat to Rome and secretly sends a Roman priest and scribe named Decius to collect proof of Brigid's apostasy.
As Decius records the unorthodox practices of Brigid and her abby, and her lenience toward gospels banned by the Church, he becomes intrigued by her. Despite her upbringing as the daughter of royalty, Brigid has chosen an ecclesiastical life and ministers to her followers with a warriorlike commitment. So when Brigid assigns Decius a holy task-- to create the most important and sacred manuscript ever made, a book that scholars today believe may have rivaled the Book of Kells-- he finds himself at odds with his original mission. And when a second papal envoy arrives to collect Decius's findings and bring him back to the fold, the young priest faces the most difficult choice of his life-- one with profound historical consequences.
Revealing the ways in which Ireland, ostensibly Rome's "most faithful daughter," was at times revolutionary, Brigid's enlightening and daring story makes Brigid of Kildare a dazzling historical novel.
Heather Terrell is the author of The Map Thief and The Chrysalis. A magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a fucus in art history, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law, Terrell has more than ten years of experience as a litigator at some of the country's premier law firms and at Forture 500 companies. She lives in Pittsburg, PA with her family.