Hillwalking

Hillwalking

by Katy Ridnouer
     
 

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After her tenth year living in Ireland, Heather knows a piece of herself is missing. Thinking it is the hills of her childhood home in Penland, North Carolina, she organizes a hillwalking group with two other Americans. Whatever is missing would surely be found nestled amongst the ruins of Glendalough, St. Kevin's ancient monastic city. When Heather finds Celtic

Overview

After her tenth year living in Ireland, Heather knows a piece of herself is missing. Thinking it is the hills of her childhood home in Penland, North Carolina, she organizes a hillwalking group with two other Americans. Whatever is missing would surely be found nestled amongst the ruins of Glendalough, St. Kevin's ancient monastic city. When Heather finds Celtic designs in the altar at St. Saviour's, she picks up her tinsmithing tools again, but the piece is missing still. As she hammers ceiling tiles from Ireland's past, she hears a voice from her own past, a voice demanding to be heard, a voice demanding to tell its story, a voice whose story would crumble the very walls in which Heather resides.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Ridnouer's debut novel relates the gentle spiritual journey undertaken by three American women living in Dublin. The number three manifests throughout this tale of longing for meaning and love, and no more so than in the trinity of women examining their mundane lives in Ireland's Fair City. Uprooted from the U.S. by their husbands, Jamie, Christy and Heather come together as hillwalking companions. They are drawn to Glendalough Valley in the Wicklow Mountains, where rises and vales of dewy green shelter ancient stone churches and holy wells--an apt backdrop to this meditative story. Each woman carries a burden of lost children or illness, and they wander unhappily through life until each finds a passion that transcends mere occupation. Heather becomes intrigued and artistically inspired by Saint Kevin, the founder of Glendalough's monastic settlement; the 6th-century monk's philosophies illuminate her own spiritual style, one in which Celtic paganism lies just beneath the surface. Christy, desperate for a baby, befriends a lonely girl in her apartment building, while Jamie, the skeptic, becomes captivated by the labyrinth at Glendalough and begins work on her own spiraling path. The women alternate between closeness with one another and their children and a growing distance from their unsympathetic husbands. But it's not all reflection and insight: Heather and Jamie's likable children are a nearly constant, squabbling and pouting presence. Ridnouer balances poetic descriptions with extremely casual, often pointed dialogue, peppered with words like "whatcha" and "didja." She also does a fine job portraying the temporal, frequently amusing details of an expat American's life in a city more than 1,000 years old. At heart, this novel is a spiritual quest, with portents, metaphor and prodigious symbolism. In time, each woman arrives at the end of her winding path changed in some quietly momentous way. A story as observant and thoughtful as the lives of Irish monks; rewarding for contemplative readers.
Lela Michael
“Hillwalking is well written, emotionally involving, gently educational, spiritually accurate, and please excuse me but I feel like going for a walk now. Five stars.” Self-Publishing Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781463768270
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
02/04/2012
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)

Meet the Author

Katy Ridnouer was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina and lived there for eighteen brief months. She returned to her birth state after ten moves with her military family and marriage to her high school sweetheart. In 2007, she and her family moved to Ireland. Although her husband's ancestors were from Ireland, it was she who fell under the spell of the Irish life.

Katy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Education degree at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She is the author of two books for teachers: Managing Your Classroom with Heart and Everyday Engagement. Katy wrote Hillwalking for all of us finding our way; it is her first novel. She currently teaches Developmental English at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoys creating a life there with her husband and three boys.

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