This wonderfully personal tale of one family sweeps through Canadian history from the 1800's onwards. The descriptions of the ordinary details of real life, as well as the big events and traditions, put the reader into every scene. Complex characters and intriguing episodes set on a Native reserve, farm, English hearth, ocean liner, in town and city stir the reader’s memories of a time centered around God, country and family. But the strength of the story is a grown woman searching her family's past for an understanding of her parents' and her egos and souls. Author Margaret Kell Virany treats her preacher dad and war-bride mom with tenderness and love, but also distance. This is a work of candor. The chief thoughts, posed problems and feelings are often in the details. It is both a historical and a psychological story interwoven masterfully into one riveting, seamless tale. The original The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the Holy Scriptures produced by ninth-century monks in Kells, Ireland. It has been called the earliest, most beautiful, most important relic of western civilization. Virany entitled her book A Book of Kells not only because Kell is her family name but also because her devout ancestors sought to illuminate the gospels by the way they lived their daily lives.