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

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I found it really hard to find the motivation to finish this book, as I found nothing in it compelling. Read more about the condition New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. Kiran has written so movingly about her experiences, in which she takes the reader on the journey of both joy and heartache.

After hearing an interview on Radio 4 I had high hopes but ultimately this is a self-absorbed, mawkish and pretty patronising read. Time is the Houdini of the metaphysical world; it escapes through the back door of our lives, although we never really felt it enter. I often forget to read the NetGalley books I have downloaded if I have a lot of library books out but I did fill out a recent survey and it asked a lot of questions about its Shelf app. This book is divided into four sections, classified according to the seasonal changes that accompany the various other demands upon people, their work, food, culture, and so on and so forth. 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.But as the months wear on, Kiran starts to connect with the close-knit community she finds there; her neighbour Sarah, who shows 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; and Wilf, the farmer who eats the same supper every day, and teaches Kiran that the cuckoo arrives in April and leaves in July. They’re helped to settle in by the people from the B’n’B they stay in on their first visit, people with their own family troubles, and they get to know other residents and incomers, including the farmer, Wilf, with whom Sidhu has profound conversations that often make them both weep. 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. So much felt familiar yet also felt strange, a testament to how vast this beautiful countryside is and how well written this book is. Yes woe is you, you lost your mum and lost contact with your blood relatives, but you know you have a loving husband, a (what sounds like a very expensive) house in a sought after part of the Welsh countryside, a second holiday home abroad, time and means to travel extensively abroad (mentions trips to New York) and a book deal for this book presumably, so things aint that bad are they Kiran?

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. 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. Her article about her farmer friend Wilf was the 13th most read article in The Guardian in 2021, and was made into a short film Heart Valley , directed by Christian Cargill and produced by Pulse Films.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. I Can Hear the Cuckoo is a tender, philosophical memoir about the beauty of a microscopic life, the value of solitariness, and respecting the rhythm and timing of the earth. I found it bizarre that, although this was very much her story, she did in fact move with her husband, who remains but a shadow in the descriptive prose used for other characters.

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