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Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite
Enya’s Son by Cindy Thomson tells the story of Columcille, who is also known as the “Dove”. The heroine longs to have a child and fears that she is cursed according to the old religion. She begs the god of the Christians for a child and promises to return him to the church for fosterage. The son takes to monastic life, devoting himself to scholarship and refusing to return home to take up his role as king. Thomson sympathetically elucidates the mother’s anxiety as Colum develops the desire to see an important scroll copied for the benefit of the common folk. He calls the clans to war over this. After the war, Colum undertakes penance. His mother has to accept the outcome with resigned grace.
Enya’s Son is a beautifully written and thoroughly researched historical fiction story. The author, Cindy Thomson, cleverly blends the products of imagination with the few recorded details existent about the life of Saint Columba. I enjoyed the glimpse into a life guided by an almost superstitious belief in the miraculous. Thomson complements her characterization by painting the setting, utilizing historical information about ancient Ireland. The blending of faith, fact, and fiction was delicate, making Enya’s Son ideal Sunday afternoon recreational reading. The tone is more spiritual than religious, and Thomson does not preach. I really liked the way she referenced the characters of women who had longed for children, like Sarah or Hannah from the Bible. I can see a wide range of readers enjoying Enya’s Son by Cindy Thomson.