Thin Places (Hardcover)
April 2022 Indie Next List
“Memoir and folklore weave together in this haunting story of a childhood unfolding during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, capturing a burning desire to find balance and peace. Superbly beautiful, raw, and heartbreaking writing.”
— BJ Hegedus, Postalworks Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA
Thin Places is a gorgeous Irish memoir from a woman- half Protestant, half Catholic- who grew up during the Troubles. Now, in adulthood, she looks at the effects of Brexit and tries to reconcile the trauma of this divided island by reclaiming the nature based values, religion and language of her Celtic ancestors.
Kerri ni Dochartaigh is deeply committed to seeking beauty in all kinds nature– from the sweeping vistas camping by the ocean to sighting moths in her backyard in the city. It is in this way she models a path of hope and healing for her readers— From Our Favorite Books of 2022
An Indies Introduce Selection for Winter/Spring 2022
A Junior Library Guild SelectionBoth a celebration of the natural world and a memoir of one family's experience during the Troubles, Thin Places is a gorgeous braid of "two strands, one wondrous and elemental, the other violent and unsettling, sustained by vividly descriptive prose" (The Guardian). Kerri n Dochartaigh was born in Derry, on the border of the North and South of Ireland, at the very height of the Troubles. She was brought up on a council estate on the wrong side of town--although for her family, and many others, there was no right side. One parent was Catholic, the other was Protestant. In the space of one year, they were forced out of two homes. When she was eleven, a homemade bomb was thrown through her bedroom window. Terror was in the very fabric of the city, and for families like n Dochartaigh's, the ones who fell between the cracks of identity, it seemed there was no escape. In Thin Places, a luminous blend of memoir, history, and nature writing, n Dochartaigh explores how nature kept her sane and helped her heal, how violence and poverty are never more than a stone's throw from beauty and hope, and how we are, once again, allowing our borders to become hard and terror to creep back in. N Dochartaigh asks us to reclaim our landscape through language and study, and remember that the land we fight over is much more than lines on a map. It will always be ours, but--at the same time--it never really was.