This unflinching memoir looks back at a decade of love and loss, of mothering, identity and ultimately healing. An ode to friendship, home and the extraordinary healing powers of immersing yourself in the natural world, especially the ocean.
‘Life had brought me to the edge of myself and here I was feeling like I was on the edge of the world.’
After moving back to her homeplace on the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal with her young family, journalist Kathy Donaghy’s life changed in ways she never saw coming. This unflinching memoir looks back at a decade of love and loss, of mothering, identity and ultimately healing. An ode to friendship, home and the extraordinary healing powers of immersing yourself in the natural world, especially the ocean.
utterly beautiful memoir
A heartbeat of a book … that will speak to so many
Kathy Donaghy shares her cache of wisdom about a pared-back life enriched by the countryside’s treasure trove.
Her beautifully told chronicle is a testament to outcomes transformed by a leap of faith.
An honest but beautiful account of losing yourself through life’s tragedies and finding yourself again in the wilds of your beloved homeland
Inishowen is Ireland’s end, the island’s northern headland exposed to the scour of salt water from the north Atlantic. Faced with wild weather and lit by stormy sky, the setting is perfect for Kathy Donaghy’s turbulent and moving memoir, Finding My Wild. Thanks to history and geography Inishowen has become one of Ireland’s lesser-known peninsulas, less travelled than modern-day Dingle, Mizen and Beara. Partly this is because even on a warm day the cold air cuts, partly because the communities who live there have such a deep experience of migration themselves. Donaghy was one such local who left school in Carndonagh for university and a career in journalism. That life led to travel, marriage and an urge to return that rose like a wave that threatened at times to overwhelm her and her growing family. Finding My Wild is a deep and honest account of these unsettled years, which turn around Donaghy’s complex experiences of motherhood. She shares her stories with a clarity of self-reflection that is painful to read, and her observations on love, compulsion and forgiveness are powerful within a book that is rooted in the natural life of rural Ireland. This is a study of foxes, badgers, cormorants, seals and dolphins as much as it is a summary of education, home life and the health service. Its poignant parts are those moments by the sea, which move from childhood adventures in rock pools to the adult plunge into cold water off Culdaff, which brings the memoir to a flowing close. Donaghy’s descriptions of being in the water are wonderful. Swimming is hardly the word to cover the body feeling the surge of sensations that seawater invites, and Donaghy captures this variousness with a delight that is equivalent to hope after all the pages of trauma and grief before. There are passing glimpses of other histories too, of salmon fishing and seasonal migrations, human and bird, which hint at the diversity of Inishowen as a place in and of itself. Donaghy describes Lough Foyle as an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, turbulent and powerful. The same might hold for her book, Finding My Wild - a memoir and a reflection, a testimony and an act of self-forgiveness that we might all read and learn from
as she describes the tragedies, losses and sadnesses that invaded her life, she becomes searingly honest, her heart laid bare. Readers will empathise with the raw hurt. This book is the story of how she learned to heal and rediscover the girl she once was in the rugged, majestic landscape at the northernmost edge of Ireland … Donaghy’s awareness of the wilderness all around her is a delight, whether it is the creatures and plants in her area, the changing seasons, knowing a storm is coming by the wheeling gulls, waiting for the first snowdrops or breathing in the scent of summer meadows. Finding My Wild will not only resonate with readers who have suffered loss but also with anyone who has ever dreamed of an escape to the country
A wonderful read
moving memoir of loss, recovery and the healing power of the natural world, particularly the ocean
Warm, inspiring and authentic, Finding My Wild had me ready to leap into a new adventure as soon as I finished the last page. It’s a welcome addition to the growing collection of books about rewilding, but from two needed and unique perspectives: mothering and grief. Kathy’s writing is a call with open arms to reacquaint ourselves with our wild side. And trust me, we all have one!
It’s a story that will resonate with most people, story of life changes, love and loss, which is pretty much all of us
The narrative … around the healing … is so refreshing to read
The seed for Kathy Donaghy’s beautiful and unflinching memoir Finding My Wild was planted when, after moving back to her home in Donegal with her young family, her life was to change in ways she never saw coming. The award-winning journalists debut looks back at love and loss over a decade and how home and the healing powers of the natural world, especially the ocean, can help you find yourself once more
a most enjoyable read