Brigid's Handmaid

Book Cover


17th Century or Earlier

Victoria Laurienzo

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Ireland is changing forever as the Vikings discover the riches to be had there. Romance, harrowing escapes and illuminated manuscripts intertwine in this poignant story about a young girl on the brink of womanhood left adrift in the world when her home and family are destroyed.


Historical Fiction,Romance,Religious,Drama,Action,Adventure

Short Summary

Keelan's farmstead is attacked by the Vikings while she is a short distance away grazing her family's sheep. The attack is witnessed by Morrigan, the reclusive healer who is just packing up to leave. She watches as Keelan returns to find her family destroyed, the settlement burnt.

The talented Keelan has received a vision of St. Mary and St. Brigid instructing her to produce a manuscript and painting of her vision intended for a future generation. She returns to her home to place the items in a miraculous cave that opens and closes again after she places the items within.



Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Voyage and Return,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Tragedy

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Sexual Abuse,Extreme Violence

Main Character Details

Name: Keelan

Age: 15 at beginning

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Complex,Desperate,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Gracious,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Naive,Modest,Obedient,Religious,Selfless,Skillful,Visionary,Romantic,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Morrigan

Age: 30

Gender: Female

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Adventurous,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Flexible,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Outspoken,Skillful,Romantic,Secretive,Lone Wolf

Additional Character Details

Name: Gunnar

Age: 18

Gender: Male

Role: tempter

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Clumsy,Complex,Engaging,Flexible,Heartthrob,Heroic,Honorable,Masculine,Sexy,Selfless,Skillful,Romantic,Seductive

Additional Character Details

Name: Cuinn

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Complex,Confident,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Gracious,Heartthrob,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Obedient,Sexy,Religious,Selfless,Skillful,Funny,Romantic,Seductive,Strong Moral Code

Development Pitch

The story begins amidst the wild and beautiful landscape of the west coast of Ireland in the ninth century, with tragedy as Keelan's family's farm is attacked and burned by the Vikings. She is captured by a wayward Viking, knocked unconscious and finds herself in the belly of a longship, along with Morrigan, the reclusive healer woman, who becomes her mentor and surrogate mother. The two escape, and make their way up the River Shannon and across the country with monks and students from the monastery at Clonmacnoise. The talented Keelan is given the opportunity to work on illuminated manuscripts at Kells, and to be educated at St. Brigid's school at Kildare. Along the way, she falls in love with a young man who is a Northman, but who also has escaped. Gunnar and Morrigan share a closeness, and a mutual secret. Morrigan, damaged from a horrific experience many years prior, has closed herself off from further hurt, but taking care of the orphaned Keelan thaws her heart. Keelan is destined to do great things, as foretold by the monk, Br. Donnacha. After further personal tragedy, Keelan falls into a deep depression. A vision of Sts. Mary and Brigid restores her to emotional health, and they give her a monumental task of warning a future generation using her artistic talent.

About The Author

I fell hard for Ireland ever since my first trip back in the 70s. As an English major, I always knew I would get around to writing at some point in my life. When I finally did, it had to be about Ireland, and it had to be in my favorite genre, historical fiction. I live in Tallahassee, Florida, and work as a research specialist assisting pertinent parties with child support payments. Formerly, I worked as a graphic artist, and I dabble in drawing and painting. I am a retired choir director of over twenty years. I also make and sell jewelry. I am married with a grown son and grandson, and two stepchildren with seven grandchildren between them. I am working on a second novel, set in Tallahassee in the 1950s, with civil rights figuring prominently.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Female Leaning,Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Amazon Kindle

Year Published: 2017

Hard Copy Available