Confessions Of A Pagan Nun

Written by Kate Horsley
Review by Suzanne Crane

Based on an obscure 5th century Gaelic manuscript discovered in Ireland, this short novel is written in the form of a diary by a nun called Gwynneve. In return for the privilege of staying at the convent, Gwynneve, literate and intelligent, aids in making copies of the writings of St. Patrick.

Through Gwynneve’s musings, questions and doubts, the reader is given a wonderful view of the bigotry, strife, cruelty and love that ensue as a result of the clash between Christian dogma and “pagan” religions. Ireland in the aftermath of St. Patrick is made open to the reader, and the Gaelic and Christian ideals are expressed through Gwynneve, now a woman of both cultures. Packed with cultural and religious currents of the time, Confessions of a Pagan Nun is swift reading. One hopes Ms. Horsley continues to write such novels for our enjoyment and learning.