I Can Hear the Cuckoo: Life in the Wilds of Wales

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I Can Hear the Cuckoo: Life in the Wilds of Wales

I Can Hear the Cuckoo: Life in the Wilds of Wales

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Description

Her words do not so much weave a tapestry as assemble a life’s quilt; each individual patch revealing multiple layers of her life and her growth. This book offers a gentle reminder of the true meaning of life and our place in the natural world around us.

Reading this book on my tablet through the NetGalley shelf app was a slightly tricky job, as it came out in double-spread pages in an odd font, with the next page accessed by swiping downwards, so you had to go left – right – down diagonally to the left – right, etc. I requested this book from NetGalley after seeing it on Paul Halfman Halfbook’s blog post about upcoming books – one of his other commenters mentioned they were going to look them up on NG and I followed suit and ended up with a couple. This heart-touching 19-minute video of a Welsh shepherd is a must-watch and highly recommended, as is the memoir. Sidhu doesn’t mention her Indian heritage much, apart from musing on how Indian women are often put upon wherever they are, and that she was uncomfortable with the assumption she did or should have children when she went to visit relatives there.The book is a tapestry of two different worlds intertwined, capturing the extremities of life itself. I didn’t remember if I had used it or not but now I suspect I would, if I had, based on your comment. For me this is a book that gives hope,it casts acceptance we’re there is dark and like a breeze in any season,the story whaffs over you in subtle and meaningful ways,and brings new thoughts to life,thoughts and feelings that have simmered over time, come to the surface. It's difficult to tell at first whether Kiran is living in Wales properly as she initially mentions spending only weekends there. Come down the travelators, exit Sainsbury's, turn right and follow the pedestrianised walkway to Crown Walk and turn right - and Coles will be right in front of you.

By the time I approached the end, I was shedding tears thinking about my own life, my own losses and my efforts to understand what they mean and live consciously and mindfully. The best parts of the book, for me, was the description of the individuals and community in a very small hamlet and the impact of the seasons. Here, in I Can Hear the Cuckoo: Life in the Wilds of Wales, Kiran is doubly challenged to tell her painful tale of her mother’s loss during Christmas Eve and her subsequent burial on New Year’s Eve, which she can never enjoy as others; indeed, she has never enjoyed this festive season due to her father’s alcoholism during her childhood days and her mother’s demise in adulthood. I eventually fell into a firm routine with this book, reading only a chapter a day or so, and savouring the insights within - just mulling them over like turning a lovely pebble in my mind’s hand - and just allowing myself to empathise and feel. But she quickly discovers a sense of belonging in the small, close-knit community she finds there; her neighbour Sarah, who teaches her how to sledge when the winter snow arrives; Jane, a 70-year-old woman who lives at the top of a mountain with three dogs and four alpacas with an inspiring attitude for life; and Wilf, the farmer who eats the same supper every day, and taught Kiran that the cuckoo arrives in April and leaves in July.Well, I see this will be available in paperback in September this year, so I’m encouraged – though it may already be in our library. Anyway, I don’t normally read bereavement memoirs, which is what I think this would be counted as, as I was more attracted by the subtitle, “Life in the Wilds of Wales” and the author’s name, which indicated some kind of South Asian heritage. She chooses fresh air, an auditorium of silence and the purity of the natural world – and soon arrives in Cellan, a small, remote village nestled in the Welsh valleys. Yes, I really don’t like sad animal stuff and this was on the edges of what I can tolerate but it wasn’t detailed so I was just about OK. The quiet life was a real revelation to her and I loved how she interspersed her new life in Wales, with looking back over her family history and the dark times during her mothers' illness.

About the Author: Kiran Sidhu is a freelance journalist and has written features, lifestyle and opinion pieces for The Guardian, Observer, Telegraph, The i Paper, The Independent, Metro, Woman magazine, Woman's Own and Breathe magazine. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item. I was irritated by the endless tautological paragraphs which I would have expected an editor to expunge.

Kiran Sidhu's book is a bit different as it's not solely about grief and death, although that's the underlying backstory. And so we get lovely descriptions of the Welsh countryside, the lovely Welsh people, lovely Welsh kindness, the lovely Welsh animals, the lovely Welsh seasons (do you see a pattern here? Kiran Sidhu never thought she could leave London, but when her mother passes away, she knows she has to walk out of her old life and leave her toxic family behind. For me, this reads like someone went on a gap year to Thailand or India and came back spiritualising every tiny moment of it - except, in this book, it’s a city girl moving to Wales.



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  • EAN: 764486781913
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