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Confessions of a Pagan Nun
Confessions of a Pagan Nun
Author: Kate Horsley
When we think of the Dark Ages, we often think of a dim, primitive society where people struggled just to stay alive, with no room for spirituality or philosophy. The cool, clear, gemlike precision of Horsley's (Crazy Woman) new novel tells another tale. — Gwynneve is born into a world suspended between paganism and Christianity: Ireland circa 50...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781570629136
ISBN-10: 1570629137
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 208
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 51 ratings
Publisher: Shambhala
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

TinkerPirate avatar reviewed Confessions of a Pagan Nun on + 61 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I picked this book up on a whim. I'd finished my book and needed something to read so ended up browsing the bookshelf of the thift store. The title attracted me. I admit the reading was a bit slow at first, but I got wrapped up in the story and finished it in about 24 hours (quite atypical for me). I am so glad I didn't give up. The ending is so bitter-sweet that it brought tears to my eyes.

Set in the beginning of Christianity in Ireland, the story of Qwynneve is enchanting. Born of a wise and wild woman, she learns the ways of the earth and healing plants at her mother's side. She choses to apprentice with the Druid, Giannon, to learn the mysteries of language. In the end, she chooses to become a nun of the Order of Saint Brigid to transcribe learnings from far away places.

Through this, you witness the change in the status of women, reverence for the earth, and the use of power as Ireland moves from a land of Druids and other pagans to Christianity. The story spoke to me and brings me to reconsider some of my learned beliefs about my faith and the manner in which I live it every day.

I am particularly struck by one sentence found near the end......"I would live in a world full of Christ-like humans, but not one full of Christians, may God forgive me."
reviewed Confessions of a Pagan Nun on
Helpful Score: 6
This is one woman's story of her journey from a Druid to a nun while still holding onto some of the "old ways." It was an interesting view of a time when Christianity was taking over Ireland from the Pagans, many times by force.
reviewed Confessions of a Pagan Nun on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I really enjoyed this book and its view of Ireland as it deals with Christianity coming in and outlawing the old ways of the Druidic tradition.
reviewed Confessions of a Pagan Nun on
Helpful Score: 4
This is one of the best books I have read this year--It is lyrical and thought-provoking. You transported to this mystical age at the cusp of Christianity and find yourself rooting for this introspective heroine. Gwynneve struggles as she tries to reconcile her innate wisdom and deep and ageless spirituality with a new religion which carries the recognition from dignified and learned societies, but often fails to speak to her conscience and heart.
szamp avatar reviewed Confessions of a Pagan Nun on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
There is no joy in this book but I have never read another like it. 2 days later I still find myself thinking about it and redigesting it's contents.
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Alameda avatar reviewed Confessions of a Pagan Nun on + 336 more book reviews
Wonderful, thought provoking, inspiring.

Thoroughly enjoyed the character of Gwynneve and her quest for truth, to become a druid, and to learn the mystery of the written word.

The book is a history of her life as a reflection in her later years as a nun at the monastery of Saint Brigit in the sixth-century in Ireland.

Well written, giving some insight into the change from paganism in Ireland to the conversion to Christianity and as to how it affected her and others known to her in her earlier years.

This is an historical novel, but based on some historical documentation. In additional to being a well told tale it provided some historical context to the Druid society that was refreshing to read.
bookgoddessme avatar reviewed Confessions of a Pagan Nun on + 106 more book reviews
This book reminded me of Pope Joan a bit. Women's lives at this time period were so physically and emotionally difficult. The main character had so many doubts and questions about her instincts and emotions because they conflicted with the obviously slanted views of the newly emerging Catholic Church. Gwynn wanted to be open and inspired by the new doctrine, but it pained her to see how the monks and the wealthy would often say one thing, and do the opposite. Not my favorite, but an important piece of history.