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Summary

A breathtaking mix of memoir, nature writing and history: this is Kerri ní Dochartaigh's story of a wild Ireland, an invisible border, an old conflict and the healing power of the natural world

Kerri ní Dochartaigh was born in Derry, on the border of the North and South of Ireland, at the very height of the Troubles. She was brought up on a council estate on the wrong side of town. But for her family, and many others, there was no right side. One parent was Catholic, the other was Protestant. In the space of one year they were forced out of two homes, and when she was 11 a homemade petrol bomb was thrown through her bedroom window. Terror was in the very fabric of the city, and for families like Kerri's, the ones who fell between the cracks of identity, it seemed there was no escape.

In Thin Places, a mixture of memoir, history and nature writing, Kerri explores how nature kept her sane and helped her heal, how violence and poverty are never more than a stone's throw from beauty and hope, and how we are, once again, allowing our borders to become hard and terror to creep back in. Kerri asks us to reclaim our landscape through language and study and remember that the land we fight over is much more than lines on a map. It will always be ours, but at the same time, it never really was.

©2019 Kerri ni Dochartaigh (P)2021 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Thin Places

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Not for me

I didn't enjoy this, almost bathing in melancholy and too many adjectives for too many minor things. Never seem to get anywhere, I gave up at Ch4.
Long slow descriptions of weariness.

3 people found this helpful

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Full of depth and significance

I have listened to a couple of Irish history books which detail the harrowing stories of the famine, emigration and Island’s identity struggles. However, there was little in those books about how the experiences impacted those who lived through them. Maybe those stories were lost to time.

This book is a rare, first-hand account of how the turbulence of the troubles has shaped the life of a real person and those around her. It’s not always an easy listen but it’s value will be experienced by those who take the time to open up and truly listen. It’s particularly poignant being read by the author, who is a compelling storyteller and narrator.
I personally enjoyed listening to this at 1.2 speed as the narration still flows very well.

This book is valuable to those who are processing their own loss and it should also appeal to those who feel a deep connection to nature. From a historical perspective, the significance of the book will undoubtedly grow as it ages.

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beautiful and haunting

I loved this book - as someone else who grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and who left, feeling I had no choice, I could really identify with what Kerri was saying. Northern Ireland is gifted with some beautiful scenery and thin places and I'm sure that's why we are always drawn back, to connect with those places physically and in our souls. Despite the violence. Thank you Kerri for helping me process some of my own childhood and decisions.

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Different

I loved this book for the way it has made me see the world differently. the narration was beautiful and the writing very poetic. Kerry's struggle with life is at times painful to listen to but also inspiring and left me feeling I would like to keep this friend and know how she fares in the future.