Book Cover

Cuthbert of Farne

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What readers say:     

‘In this glorious novel we meet not an ascete who has turned his back on the world, but a man deeply involved in the social and political conflicts of his day and dedicated to peace and reconciliation. From his rocky abode, lashed by the bitter salty North Sea winds, in the company of seals and seagulls, and with little in the way of food or physical comfort, he is a warrior engaged in a rare kind of struggle. But this is also a tender story of love and longing and belonging in the new Christian communities of seventh-century Northumbria. You will want to walk that coast, breathe that air.’ Vibeke Vasbo, author of The Song of Hild, no.1 Danish best-seller

‘Tiernan has a flair for psychological insight and an imagination that fills in the gaps in the historical record without ever doing violence to what is likely. She is also possessed of a vivid visual imagination, and an illuminator’s eye for small details. This is a highly pleasurable and intelligent piece of historical fiction’ . Fiona Hook, Church Times

‘Whether you are looking for an exciting historical novel or are interested in the northern saints, this is the book for you. It is fast-moving but the author has taken no liberties—I couldn’t put it down.” —Lilian Groves, Senior Guide at Durham Cathedral

Reading your novel was a moving experience, as I travelled to the Inner Hebrides, with a visit to Iona and Staffa.
The other day I was in Durham, and revisited the cathedral with a new sense of what faith is about.
Although I am not religious (though raised as a Dutch ‘Remonstrant’), the novel of Cuthbert of Farne speaks to me very directly of the worship of God.
Violent history forms an intriguing setting, still relevant today.
Everyday life and people come alive. Dialogues never sound strained. The main characters – women and men – are captivating.
Landscapes are beautifully presented. I love the descriptions of nature, evoked, sometimes, as a divine invocation.
‘Light. There was nothing but light. The low winter sunshine lit up the waves lapping around the harbour in a dazzling shimmer.’ (p. 272)  Gijs Wallis de Vries

‘I have just finished reading your wonderful book ‘Cuthbert of Farne’. It is a long time since I enjoyed a book so much. It was fascinating to read about that colourful period in the history of Northumbria and beyond, and you bought it to life so vividly’ Julie Jones

‘I’ve just finished reading Cuthbert of Farne and wanted to say how much I loved it. I was so engrossed and read it over a couple of days’ David Bayne.




Place of Repose: St Cuthbert’s Last Journey

AVAILABLE FROM, on Amazon or from local bookshops

“This is a gripping novel of the “can’t put it down” kind. The facts are largely drawn from the monk Simeon’s History of the Church of Durham (1096). What gaps recorded history has left, Mrs. Tiernan has filled with imagination and flair.”
Keith Atkinson

“I loved the way that the book manages to talk about spiritual matters without sacrificing drama and felt that it was really moving portrayal of the way that a great saint has effect upon all around them. The fact that St Cuthbert, now resting in Durham Cathedral, is still exerting this kind of influence today makes this a book which a great many people should find inspiring.”
Jane Clark

“Katherine Tiernan brings to life a period of less well-known British history that is often bypassed in the smokescreen of King Alfred’s more obvious adventures in southern parts during this period. Beautifully written, the writer has a native’s sensitivity to this brooding land.”
Christopher Ryan

“Katharine Tiernan paints a vibrant description of life in the ancient kingdoms, filled with human concerns the reader will recognise only too well. It is a gripping narrative and due to her insightful drawing of the characters portrayed, we warm to them immediately and truly care what happens as their journey ripens them. Tiernan brings the presence of St Cuthbert to life in such a way that the reader can almost sense his benediction. One cannot help but feel, it is the story he himself would have wanted told. Your heart will be touched, your imagination fired and you will not want to put this book down!”
Isabel Tipple

“A great book, which kept me hooked to the last sentence.”
Tassy Vincent