The Priest’s Wife, Published by Gillian Paschkes-Bell

Oct 4, 2023

You may have met Gillian through one of the online sessions on Christianity she has offered to OneSpirit students in recent years. Gillian has a particular interest in world views and their effect on those who hold them. In launching a new small publishing company, Bryn Glas Books, she carries this interest forward through her launch title, The Priests Wife by A.G Rivett. Set on a Celtic island in an alternative world similar to ours of a thousand years ago, the novel’s setting explores the clash between the ancestral beliefs and customs of the Islanders and a patriarchal and controlling form of Christianity that seeks to sweep them away.

Rev Gillian sitting with author AG Rivett on a couch in a bookstore.

THE PRIEST’S WIFE; a tale of loss, change and emancipation. Published with a Literary Grant from the Books Council of Wales

‘In The Priest’s Wife I wanted to explore the struggle between nature-affirming and nature-denying world views; which I believe will strike a chord with the present awareness of the precarious course humanity has set in seeking to control nature’ ~ A.G. RIVETT

– The Priest’s Wife by A G. Rivett is on sale in bookshops and online from 20 October.

– Gillian will be at the Stoke Newington Bookshop at 7.30 pm on Thurs 26 Oct to talk about Bryn Glas Books and its publishing imprint, Pantolwen Press. A G. Rivett will be present to read from his novel. All welcome.

– See a full description and read the opening here.

Book Reviews

A vividly imagined journey through an alternative Celtic reality which skillfully combines an intriguing narrative with lyrical description and spiritual depth. ~ Maggie Hamand, author of The Resurrection of the Body and Virgin and Child

Suspenseful and engaging. A thoroughly good read that challenges the assumptions that hold us back.  ~ Isabel Clarke, author of Madness, Mystery and the Survival of God

Morag is magnificent! ~ Shirley Barr

I was transported into a magical alternative reality, captivated by the characters, the landscape, the Celtic spirituality and the thought-provoking situations. ~ Ann Barr

The characters are described with a nuance that moves the reader beyond ‘good and bad’ and allows a common humanity to be seen. ~ Cornelia Featherstone and Sylvia Robertson

A G Rivett gives birth to a book that expresses deep knowing about the significance of our times.  A book to encourage those who teeter on the brink of claiming their place within the whole. ~ Romany Buck

This novel evokes a profound sense of the beauty of place and the community bound to that place. The reader is drawn in and, in a way, joins the characters on their journey. If the setting is a putative thousand years in the past, the underlying themes are contemporary. Modern counter-cultural aspirations run alongside questions about the relationship of religion and society, of evangelisation and enculturation. The Priest’s Wife allows the reader space to meditate on these and other themes, without forcing conclusions. A welcome addition to Christian fantasy literature, in which it easily holds its own. ~  Br Daniel OSB, Pluscarden Benedictines

Another beautiful and sensitively-written narrative by A G Rivett. Imbued with the author’s love of nature and its wild and elemental forces that shape and govern Island life and spirituality, it makes for compelling reading and leaves the reader impatient for more. This book will strike a resonant chord with feminist readers and, in a post-Christian society, those interested in alternative ancient faith traditions. ~ Benedict Thwaite

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