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.