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  • Two Roads
  • Two Roads

Devorgilla Days

Kathleen Hart

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A memoir of recovery, resilience and starting over in Wigtown, book capital of Scotland.

'The day is glorious. I know, because the birds announce it with gusto. Starlings shriek and whine, signalling the sunrise. Rooks chase seagulls, the blackbirds and wrens chirrup and chatter, and a robin answers back. It's a dawn cacophony and it makes me glad. These aren't the sounds I heard every day in my old life. And that is what has affected me most during my first weeks at Devorgilla: sound. Whenever I hear birdsong, church bells, sheep bleating, children playing, it takes me by surprise, as if I am hearing it for the first time, and I swear never to take these melodies for granted again.'

Eight years ago, Kathleen Hart was diagnosed with breast cancer. Complications with her surgery led to an agonisingly protracted recovery and months spent in hospital, where Kathleen had to learn how to walk again. Recuperating after her last operation, she came across a small white cottage for sale in Wigtown, Scotland. Driving hundreds of miles on nothing more than a few photographs and an inkling, she bought it that very same day.

Devorgilla Days is the story of how Kathleen left behind her old life to begin again in Scotland's book capital. From renovating her cottage to exploring the seemingly quiet, but actually bustling town, she encounters a whole community of book lovers, beekeepers, artists and writers and Lobster Fishermen. Kathleen starts wild swimming, a ritual that brings peace and clarity to her mind as her body heals.

Heartwarming and deeply moving, Devorgilla Days is an inspiring tale of one woman's remarkable journey, a celebration of community, and a call-to-arms for anyone who has ever dreamt of starting over.

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