Richard LeComte's Reviews > Brendan
Frederick Buechner followed up his classic "Godric" with this tale of a sixth-century saint, Brendan the Navigator, as told by his close friend and aid Finn. Buechner's faux-Gaelic prose makes the novel somewhat difficult to read at first, but once one gets used to the slightly off-kilter rhythms, the story emerges as one full of humor, fantasy and poignancy. Brendan, taken from his parents at age 1, is raised to be a priest just a generation after St. Patrick has brought Christianity to Ireland. Beliefs in local myths and gods mingle with Christian tenets, sometimes comically and sometimes tragically. After an adventure selecting a new Irish "king," Brendan decides to be a "blue martyr," setting off on two long sea journeys in search of a heaven-like country of the young. He encounters whales, icebergs and, perhaps, Florida. Brendan is a faithful Christian seeking God's plan for his life, even as he stumbles through wrath and regret. This poignant tale is about existential faith and grace and tries to suggest how we can find our own way as we travel the paths of saints.
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