BRENDAN THE NAVIGATOR by Jean Fritz

BRENDAN THE NAVIGATOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Fritz incorporates legend, speculation, and likely fact into her story of St. Brendan, who lived on the west coast of Ireland "which is as far west as a person could go in those days and still be on a map"--and whose first miracle (he "felt his goodness swelling up in him") was to cause a fountain to gush from the ground for a thirsty bishop. (Of course Brendan had nothing on his friend Comgall, who had magic spit.) An odd sort of duff, monk Brendan sets off with a crew in a leather boat after nephew Barenthus returns from sea speaking and smelling of paradise. Navigating through Monster Territory and other wondrous spots, he too finally reaches the beautiful golden land of fruits and flowers--but while he is still exporing it an angel sends him home. Only later does Fritz suggest that the land is America and the fabulous isles en route are probably the Faroe Islands and Iceland. Her jaunty tone is a shade forced at first when she is treating Ireland's love for stories and enthusiasm for the new religion of Christianity, but Brendan's story itself, with all its fabrications and uncertainties, is a natural for her characteristic informal approach, which hinges on not taking her material too seriously.
Pub Date: May 29th, 1979
ISBN: 069811759X
Page count: 31pp
Publisher: Coward-McCann
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1979




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