Read #146

This is a shape-shifter of a book, that deals with “The Troubles” of Northern Ireland, where she was born – the child of Catholic and Protestant parents, who suffered a petrol bombing – and raised and where she has lived on and off in adulthood, as well as a book charting her struggles with her mental and physical health, and yet it is not a “heavy” book – that is not to say it is easy, or that it skirts issues, it doesn’t but the way she writes – which is engrossing, poetic and suffused with the natural world – is so heart-warming that you can’t help but feel uplifted: its not giving anything away to say that in the end I found this a book of hope, albeit set against the looming clouds of the damage that the Brexit situation and a lack of empathetic (or even grown-up) government might cause to the peace settlement.

There is a harmony with Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun in the way that some personal peace is found through an engagement with nature – an immersion in nature, given where she ends up, not to mention a love of outdoor swimming – after a lifetime of drifting / moving around the British Isles – Derry, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Bristol.

I have my own idea what those Thin Places are – I suspect that everyone will have their own – for me it is the type of North Atlantic coast, best described by Seamus Heaney in poems like Postscript:

And some time make the time to drive out west / Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore, / In September or October, when the wind / And the light are working off each other / So that the ocean on one side is wild / With foam and glitter, and inland among stones / The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit


2 thoughts on “Read #146

Add yours

  1. Hi Nick, please could you type in the title of each book as well as the image, so that the title then appears in your email newsletter. I do like to read your book reviews. Thanks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: