Author: Stephen R. Lawhead
A childhood of being allowed to do basically whatever he wanted, relying on his father’s wealth and position, have left Succat a typical patrician youth: frequently drinking too much, with no particular aim in life, and frankly bored with life, yet determined to live his life entirely for himself. Much changed the day the Irish raiders came to his town, leaving the area decimated and taking Succat back to Eire with them as a slave. In the small village, he finds himself beneath the very people he had regarded his entire life as barbarians. And even while raging at his position and trying desperately to escape back to England, he discovers that these people really aren’t that different from the people back home. He even manages to fall in love. Still, it will take more than that to bring Succat to the point where he can truly care about anyone other than himself–but God has great plans for this arrogant youth, plans Succat couldn’t have ever imagined.
I love Stephen Lawhead’s writing, and Patrick is one that I’ve come back to re-read multiple times over. This is a biographical fiction of the life of St. Patrick, starting from his youth and going all the way to his return to Ireland, years later. It’s an incredible story, and Lawhead’s treatment of it is brilliant. Succat (later Patrick) is a fascinating character–in many ways quite despicable, yet easy to relate to and enjoyable to read. The plot is character driven and yet also a glorious envisioning of the work of Providence in the life of an individual. I admit, the book is rather a big bite to chew–it’s over 450 pages, and the writing style is dense, packing a great deal of plot, character development, and description into each page. It’s well worth the work to read, though; Patrick is definitely a recommended read, particularly for historical and biographical fiction fans.