Posted 20 hours ago

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

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Having moved first to rural west Wales and then to a small town in Powys, it’d be interesting to compare the experiences of relocating – though of course there’s evidently more to this book than just moving house. That's what the author had lost sight of, so it felt like Wilf was put into her life to make her appreciate the small things and pleasures of nature. I didn’t remember if I had used it or not but now I suspect I would, if I had, based on your comment. 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.

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. It started off well, the author's mother dies and she moves away from London to the Welsh hills to flee her toxic constrained family. Biography: 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. It was quite a short book with short chapters and I got into the swing of swooping around the page, but it was a bit irritating and you wouldn’t have enjoyed it! Sidhu has the blessing and the talent to reveal others to themselves, all while exploring her personal evolution.And so we get lovely descriptions of the Welsh countryside, the lovely Welsh people, lovely Welsh kindness, the lovely Welsh animals, the lovely Welsh seasons (do you see a pattern here? Read more about the condition New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. 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.

but she quickly discovers a sense of belonging in the small, close-knit community she finds there; her neighbour Sarah, who teaches 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 with an inspiring attitude for life; and Wilf, the farmer who eats the same supper every day, and taught Kiran that the cuckoo arrives in April and leaves in July. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. Having experienced profound grief myself, her depth of perception and expression reached into my very soul.

The film won Best Documentary Short Film at Tribeca Film Festival 2022, beating over 7,000 submissions and 20 finalists. I found it really hard to find the motivation to finish this book, as I found nothing in it compelling. For me, this reads like someone went on a gap year to Thailand or India and came back spiritualising every tiny moment of it - except, in this book, it’s a city girl moving to Wales. I gradually learned how to read it - this wasn’t my usual fare of “space opera” where one explosion leads the protagonist to deliver a stunning treatise on AI and humanity. Well, I see this will be available in paperback in September this year, so I’m encouraged – though it may already be in our library.

I fell in love with the Wales countryside, mountains and valleys as I related to the human and emotional stories of the protagonist experiencing new perspectives in family and surroundings. Her descriptions of the change in herself, enjoying nature and things that she never would have previously before her mother passed away, of the process of "living" again, rang powerful and true. Kiran Sidhu never thought she could leave London, but when her mother passes away, she knows she has to walk out of her old life and leave her toxic family behind. Beautiful descriptions of the wildlife and nature and the feelings that the author associated with her journey getting to know her new surroundings.If this is representative of how disconnected the rest of the urban population is from rural life then we will never save the environment; half the population don’t actually know what it is.

So although this was more of a bereavement memoir than I expected and might be difficult to read if you’re losing someone (or comforting, as she finds her way through) there was a lot of value in it for me. After reading this memoir, do watch Heart Valley, an award-winning short documentary on the life of Wilf Davies, a 73-year-old farmer who eats the same food for more than 10 years and has never left country life for city life in his lifetime. By the time I approached the end, I was shedding tears thinking about my own life, my own losses and my efforts to understand what they mean and live consciously and mindfully. The book is a tapestry of two different worlds intertwined, capturing the extremities of life itself. Oh, this reminds me I need to be careful to spot NG books like this – luckily I haven’t had any so far but I don’t want to read anything I can’t send to Kindle.I was irritated by the endless tautological paragraphs which I would have expected an editor to expunge.

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