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The Lie of the Land: Stories from the Heartland Focusing on the Daily Battles of an Ireland Living on and off the Land Paperback – 24 Oct 2013
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Top customer reviews
The stories are enthralling delivered with a boyish charm from the heart. Knowing the area and many of the characters on the pages I laughed and cried in uqual amounts, the book transported me back to my Clara childhood. As a Landscape Archaeologist the stories are a primary souce of cultural heritage second to none. Loved the book, wish it were longer.
It recounts farming of a bygone age, of family and neighbourly feuds that lasted through generations but also how communities helped each other through thick and thin. How the hospitality of a cup of tea would be offered to every caller, how the birth of triplet lambs or twin calves was an event that was talked about for miles, how the death of animals caused angst and concern to the whole household.
My favourite stories from the 18 include the visit from the Protestant neighbour to the author's aunt. Welcome for a few nights as he called for tea and chat, he was wearing out his welcome so to get rid of him she instructed the whole family to drop to their knees and start saying their rosary as soon as they heard him coming. Although the rosary was said every night in the author's house, his aunt's family rarely said it. Once the neighbour saw them kneeling, he beat a hasty retreat and she chuckled to herself wondering if they were the bigger Protestants after having made a mockery of the rosary. Much is made of the differences between Catholics and Protestants over the years and this shows that for the most part, they got on well, although they kept the boundaries of prayer and church services.
An enjoyable read that shows the social history of Irish farming.