There are two parallel stories in this novel: the story of Saoirse who is working in 2019 as an intern
in an archaeological recruitment agency, and the story of Dar Lughdach (pronounced Dar Ludoch),
who took over from Saint Brigid as Abbess of the mixed sex monastery founded by Brigid in the 5th
century. Even though the two stories differ greatly time wise and style wise, they are intimately
Both Saoirse and Dar Lughdach are down in the dumps because of their work and life in general –
disappointment in love in particular. On the advice of her mother, Neil, and her boss Liadán, Saoirse
agrees to spend three days in Brú Bhríde, a spirituality centre situated on the site of Saint Brigid’s
original monastery. She takes part in a psychodrama workshop where the participants are working
on a play about the love affair between Dar Lughdach and the monk Dallán and the tension between
Dar Lughdach and her old friend Saint Brigid which happened as a result.
Saoirse reveals her thoughts through the internal monologue which the spirituality centre and the
surrounding area inspires in her, as well as through the letters she writes to Dylan, her former lover,
and Darena, the facilitator of the psychodrama workshop. Dar Lughdach tells her story to her
bondswoman as they await the results of the vote of the monks and nuns which will decide whether
Dar Lughdach will remain in her job as Abbess or not.
Annette Byrne is originally from Claremorris, Co. Mayo, Ireland. She is currentlly living in Esnandes, a
village on the west coast of France, near La Rochelle.
Coiscéim published her first novel Scaoilim Uaim Thú in 2019.