In Praise of the Bees
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Ireland 590 A.D.
A woman is found by a track, nearly dead from appalling wounds and remembers nothing. Her terror and her injuries are so great that she is given sanctuary in Mother Gobnait's unusual community of nuns, while all around her a war is being waged in which she is a pawn. The women name her Aine.
Disturbing fragments of Áine's memory begin to surface, and in desperation she asks to remain in the safety of the community, but is it really safe for her anywhere?
It is only after events take another terrible turn that Áine is forced to discover who she really is and make life-changing choices – but will they prove to be her undoing?
A literary novel inspired by real women - complex female characters who strain against the cruel chains and crippling prejudices of a society where no woman has power. Except, perhaps, one…
Kristin Gleeson has performed with admirable deftness the difficult trick of sweeping the reader back in time to the distant emotional and physical landscapes of 6th century Ireland. The result is a highly readable and continuously rewarding novel that the reader does not want to end—Tim Weed, author of Will Poole's Island
I found in this well-told story, the first strokes of paint on the huge, mostly blank, canvas that is our image and perception of our Irish or Gaelic past - the canvas of our increasingly dispossessed native culture. I found myself drawn into a realm that felt oddly familiar and full of cultural touchstones of the indigenous Irish past, faint echoes of which still linger in parts of this island today.In Praise of the Bees is a good read. Guím faoi scáth is dídean Gobnait is Abáin tú – go mairir—Peadar Ó Riada