9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2007
Imogen Herrad has unearthed the stories of 12 Welsh women saints, now pretty much forgotten by History and by the Church. Those stories are fascinating in themselves but it is where she takes them, that is really exciting. In 5 of the stories she conjures up the voice of the saint herself. In each of the other 7, she speaks with the voice of a contemporary woman who shares some aspect of her saint's fate (among them, a catatonic, a rape victim and a circus strongwoman).
Imogen Herrad has one of the most remarkable imaginations I have come across. She can do magic but she can do realism just as well. She puts you inside the head of a woman who falls passionately in love with an octopus (and while you're there, you know just why). She is equally convincing as the voice of Eurgain, the teenage Welsh princess who was taken to Rome as a hostage and brought back a very early form of Christianity. Her contemporary women manage to both inhabit the modern world and evoke myths from the distant past.
She can be both irreverent and deeply spiritual. Love, hate, anger, hope, revenge, forgiveness - they are all here. There is poetry in her language but it is always crystal clear. Not a word is wasted and I can't remember the last time somebody crammed so much into a mere 144 pages.