I am in Princeton, N.J. My 94 year old Uncle fell and broke his hip. This is not fun for anyone. Fortunately this trip was planned so I have been available to do whatever is needed.
While here, I picked up a small book written by one of his friends here at Stonebridge. It is not something I would normally read and I thoroughly enjoyed every sing song word.
“I have not written this tall tale alone,” says Dr. Barbara Wright, author of An Irish Tale. “Tall tales are best told at night when the rain patters on the roof and the bug fire burns bright…for the telling of stories is a healing thing.”
An Irish Tale lets us into the world of Dr. Wrights’s imagination as she creates a story, a tall tale, that presupposes the life of St. Patrick before he became the Patron Saint of Ireland. She traced her maiden name, Dowd, back to the 5th Century High King called Niall of the Nine Hostages. This warrior king kept his power by stealing adolescents from Briton and selling them as slaves in Ireland.
One of these young men was named Maewyn Succat who suffered six years of captivity in practically uninhabitable conditions and led him to a belief in the one-God.
Dr. Wright begins her tale by introducing us to the grand-daughter of King Niall. Kiara is a wild girl who is sent away as she becomes a young woman to learn the healing powers of herbs. Eventually the paths of Kiara and Maewyn cross. Kiara is an every-child, wild and curious as she watches the doings of her elders. She has no judgment about the kidnapping, she isn’t old enough to know better. She does observe and notices when some of the boys seem less afraid than others. And she remembers.
Once she is sent to live with a Healer, her natural ability shines through and she becomes the healer she is meant to be and sets the arc for our story.
Dr. Wright weaves lovely and graceful descriptions of the scenic homes of our characters from the turbulent sea to the Healer’s abode, to the bare side of the mountain where Maewyn tends his sheep and who sleep with him for warmth. One longs to hear the lyrical music of the Irish language as the tale move along.
An Irish Tale will soon come out on Audio Books. If you have the choice, I believe this tale, as lovely as it is to be read, is meant for listening. Dr. Wright has written in the voice of an Irish storyteller and it is easy to hear the lilting sing song quality of the Irish as I read.
An Irish Tale Author: Barbara Dowd Wright Illustrations by Sokyo Copyright 2016 Kutztown Publishing Company Allentown, Pennsylvania
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