Non-Fiction Review: James and Leo Behan’s “The Secret Gospel of Ireland”

You know that feeling you get when you’re in the library, and you set a large book down on the table with that nice heavy “THUNK”? Then comes that shiver of excitement because you just know the coming pages are going to be GOOD? Enter Secret Gospel of Ireland.

Giving my nook a firm tap on the tabletop would probably be detrimental to its inner components, but that’s what I wanted to do upon finishing this work. I wanted to send that unspoken signal to nearby readers that here was a book that was profound, weighty, and worth their time.

You can tell it was written by lawyers, as they explain each point several times, restating themselves in different ways. At first I felt a little talked down to, as if the authors didn’t trust their readers to catch on, but after a while, I came to appreciate their style. With so many names, dates, events, and ideas going from one end of the medieval world to the other, it was helpful to have that extra pause and reiteration within the work – sort of a “station-identification” for the reader.

If there was one thing I loved about this book above all else, it was the vast richness and depth of the information included in the tale they wove. The manuscript is complete wall-to-wall coverage of each person, place, and event, without ever becoming dull or dry. The story pulled the reader along, kept them engaged. The teasers and tie-ins were well done, making this quite the page-turner.

If you have interests in history, Ireland, Christianity, or the modern world, you must read this book.

HIGHLY recommended, and going on my shelf to be pulled out again soon!

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

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