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The House on an Irish Hillside: When You Know Where You've Come from, You Can See Where You're Going [Paperback]

Felicity Hayes-Mccoy
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: 13.99
Price: 11.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Jun 2012

'From the moment I crossed the mountain I fell in love. With the place, which was more beautiful than any place I'd ever seen. With the people I met there. And with a way of looking at life that was deeper, richer and wiser than any I'd known before. When I left I dreamt of clouds on the mountain. I kept going back.'

We all lead very busy lives and sometimes it's hard to find the time to be the people we want to be.

Twelve years ago Felicity Hayes-McCoy left the hectic pace of the city and returned to Ireland to make a new life in a remarkable house on the stunning Dingle peninsula.

Beautifully written, this is a life-affirming tale of rediscovering lost values and being reminded of the things that really matter.


Frequently Bought Together

The House on an Irish Hillside: When You Know Where You've Come from, You Can See Where You're Going + Me And Mine + An Irish Country Childhood
Price For All Three: 23.17

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  • Me And Mine 6.39
  • An Irish Country Childhood 5.59


Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (7 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444730304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444730302
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Felicity Hayes-McCoy was born in Dublin, Ireland, and graduated in English and Irish from UCD in the 1970s. She then built a successful UK-based career as an actress and writer, working in theatre, music theatre, radio, tv, and digital media.

In 1995, in partnership with the British opera director, Wilfred Judd, she set up JHM, an umbrella company under which theatre, music and multimedia work is conceived and made. Their works have been seen in the UK, US and Australia.

Described as 'wise', 'funny' and 'blazingly beautiful' by the actress Joanna Lumley, Felicity's memoir, The House on an Irish Hillside, explores the lifelong journey which has reconnected her with her native cultural inheritance and led her and Wilf to divide their time between a former Edwardian factory in inner-city London and a stone house on Ireland's Dingle peninsula, where Felicity first studied the Irish language in her teens. 'From the moment I crossed the mountain I fell in love. With the place, which was more beautiful than any place I'd ever seen. With the people I met there. And with a way of life that was deeper, richer and wiser than any I'd known before. When I left I dreamt of clouds on the mountain. I kept going back.'

She blogs about her life in both places at http://felicityhayes-mccoy.blogspot.com/


Product Description

Review

There is something entirely Irish about her writing: fresh, daring, curious and blazingly beautiful. Whatever she turns her bright eye on comes alive: the soft wild country of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula, old half-remembered stories, and the pattern of life in rural Ireland. As you read on you begin to believe that you own the house on the hillside, that you are part of the smoky circle of musicians, that the seaweed you spread on the earth will produce a fine crop of potatoes. Wise, funny and touching, this book is a portrait of friendships, customs and folklore of Ireland; but what stays with you is harder to catch, like smoke or running water. It is the taste of something we all once knew, ever-present if only you look for it. Completely enchanting. (Joanna Lumley)

I cannot recommend more. Beautifully written - would make anyone want to go to Dingle! (Isle magazine)

Book Description

The story of how one woman's life was transformed by a remarkable house on the Dingle peninsula in Ireland. It's a life-affirming tale of rediscovering lost values and cherishing loved ones and the communities we live in.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and Magical 11 Jun 2012
By Tim W
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As someone who loves hearing the positive side to major-life-choices-gone-right, as well as stories rich with history and setting, I couldn't put this book down. Like many of us, Ireland has always held an enchanted place in my heart. For me, this started on a long drive around the Ring of Kerry in a cheap rented car in college. This book not only puts me back into that visual and magical frame of mind, but also tells me why this place is so beautiful, haunting, rugged and inspiring: Its People. Taking a leap and listening to their hearts, Felicity Hayes-McCoy and her husband Wilf made a life change and found themselves living in a place that had called to them for years - a home on the Dingle peninsula in western Ireland. A decision I think we all secretly (or not so secretly) long to make. She then takes us on a journey not only through their own lives, but through the lives of the people who settled there, farmed there, lived there, sang there and still take their instruments down to the pub for a night of music - leaving us compelled to follow in their footsteps to wherever our own Dingle peninsula may be. This is a book for anyone who wants to be inspired to live better and remember what's important; and, for those who just love Ireland, in all of its wild and wonderful forms. And there are many of us.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a sheer delight. It's a wise and meditative love letter to the Dingle peninsula and its people and its past. Joanna Lumley's review (above) brilliantly catches the spirit of the book and its enchantment. The author has developed a special archeology of local life: she traces the way that the values and aspirations of past generations are still inscribed in the countryside and the stones. Stories and tunes waft into the book accross the eons through the fragile and partial memories of individuals. But this writing shows how resilient the collective memory can be. Oral fragments of thoughts, wishes, myths, courtesies and past kindnesses are carried by the songs, the sayings, the homes, the worn paths, the recipes, the cups of tea, some strands of seaweed. She manages to capture in print some of the best of Ireland's unique character.
Anyone interested in the power of tradition to enhance and enrich everyday life, anyone fascinated by the way a people's culture develops, how each of us is related to our community, our time and our place will love the observations, insights and lyricism of this writing. Curiosity, kindliness, and at times a waspish wit - a delicious combination of flavours!
Reading this gem of a book is truly a sentimental education. I felt so much better equipped to read the sounds, signs and even the silences of the world back west which I went to visit immediately after finishing the book - and the experience was so much enriched by this author's thoughtful and funny perspective. She is deeply appreciative of what she has seen and enjoyed, and this book will be warmly appreciated in turn by its readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding A Balance In Your Life 16 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In a life which only seems to get more frenetic as the years go by The House on an Irish Hillside by Felicity Hayes-McCoy was an oasis of peace - one of those books that I read slower and slower as the pages turned because I did not want it to end. Felicity was born in Dublin but in her teens went to Dingle in south-west Ireland to learn the Irish language. She eventually moved to London where she became an actor and a writer, met her husband, Wilf and began fitting 36 hours into every 24 as so many of us freelances do. In this beautiful book she tells how she and Wilf, seeking - in the jargon phrase, not one she uses - a better work/life balance, bought a home on the Dingle peinsular in south-west Ireland, re-built it together (the "together" is critical), and now divide their time between there and London. But the book is more than that. It is a song of joy for the sheer pleasure of living and finding a way of life that affects everything you do. I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy pleasure 16 Jun 2012
By zarimum
Format:Paperback
This is a fireside/early to bed/holiday must read. This is NOT airport bookstore drivel. Felicity's book is well considered, written in her easy yet thought provoking style. It is light, but it is thought provoking in a pleasantly light way, what a perfect blend. Glorious descriptions of the delights of Corca Dhuibhne (the Dingle Peninsula) counter balanced with almost sexy images of city living down in Bermondsey, London. There is a place for this memoire on anyone's shelf, I suspect it is a book to keep, to re-read, to recommend, but not to lend, for it would be a pity to not get it back. This book is not about escaping to a 'better' place but about living as richly as possible where ever that may be...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting! 10 Jun 2012
By Lolly
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm from a small town in America and I recognised the people described in this book as those who were all around me when I was growing up. It is a book of universal truths...and is a chronicle of the internal struggle many of us feel if we live in a city and yet are drawn to the countryside. Hayes-McCoy writes beautifully and I found myself needing to read 'just that little bit more' before I could put the book down...so I hardly put it down from the time I picked it up until I'd read the very last page. Now I find myself looking for flights to Ireland! I highly recommend this book. It is charming, poetic and often just plain funny. Buy it now!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars okay but....
I was a bit disappointed with this book. It's a lovely story but most of the text is rather mundane and descriptive, there isn't really any 'story' as such. Read more
Published 1 month ago by horse
2.0 out of 5 stars Bright start but quickly lost interest
The House on an Irish Hillside started out reasonably well. The idea of slipping out of the rat race, but not necessarily out of what you do for a living, and discovering a very... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Brendan Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasures
I bought this book in the Dingle Bookshop as I left the peninsula, and read it in airports and aeroplanes on my way back from Ireland to New Zealand. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kateb
5.0 out of 5 stars In harmony with its setting
When reading a book whose 'plot' develops in beloved surroundings, one could only wish that its beauty reflects all the emotions the place itself has raised in your innerself. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Fer Txu
5.0 out of 5 stars I love learning ... and with this read I learned loads.
In this book the author has developed her refined and detailed attention to the written word. That only comes about with years of study. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Fiona Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read and Funny in parts
I loved this book an easy read and very funny in places. I came to live in Ireland 10years ago and can relate to the various things that happen in this book very well.
Published 16 months ago by Barbara Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Writing
This clever memoir writing seems like an indulgence. The book takes you to Felicity's home and to numerous story scenes. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mrs. Fiona Linday
5.0 out of 5 stars The house on an irish hillside
This book is relevant to all Irish people who have emigrated as it gives great insight into the history and customs of its people - makes me want to visit the area again, well done... Read more
Published 18 months ago by G. Hilder
5.0 out of 5 stars The House On The Irish Hillside
This book is a joy. It is a celebration of community, languageand folklore in the Dingle Peninsula, seen through the eyes of an Irish woman returning, after many years of living in... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Gillian
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish culture and community on the Dingle peninsula
The author writes evocatively about the house that she and her opera director husband bought and renovated, and about the local people and their culture. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Dr. Karen E. McAulay
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