Monday, February 18, 2013

Ramblings in Ireland, Kerry Dwyer (3.5 stars)

Summary of Ramblings in Ireland
(from GoodReads)

This is not a book about rambling in Ireland.

It tells the tale of one particular walking trip and the memories and musings it inspired.

Exploring the West of Ireland is a time for meditation, spiritual reflection and strengthening the bonds of life. More practically the ability to read a map might have proved helpful. The tourist office in Ireland has all their paths clearly marked. You can’t go wrong if you follow that little yellow man. Or can you?

As British ex-patriate Kerry Dwyer leads Bertrand, her trusting French husband, astray once more, they reminisce and reflect upon accents and accidents, family and friends, love and what it means to be alive. Bertrand doesn’t mind getting lost – he loves Kerry all the more for going off the beaten track.

This is a book about ramblings in Ireland. Walk with Kerry and Bertrand and follow where your thoughts lead you.


This isn't a travel guide or really even a memoir, but it is a very endearing and personal story. The introduction sets the stage--the author admits it was meant to be a memoir, but "Something in a story reminds me of another story and there I go." 

Ireland is a practical choice, made based on friend recommendations and costs, but the trip turns into more than a quick getaway. The beautiful scenery, as enjoyed most often by hiking, serves as a backdrop for personal reflection.

The author's gift with honesty and wit reminded me of Bridget Jones and her diary. It's refreshing, and made me want to look at my own life with such candor. At one point, she mentions a plaque that reads (translated), "At this serious point in my long life I have found here that what I sought: to face myself." 

The book serves as a lovely reminder to take time to enjoy life and to always search for experiences that help us stay connected to not just the loved ones in our lives, but to ourselves. And I must commend the author on her vivid descriptions of the places they visited. If you never wanted to visit Ireland before, you will definitely want to after reading this book.

I only wish it had been longer, with more insight and stories. Not a bad piece of constructive criticism... to be left feeling like the author really had more to say than was said. I only felt that way because she said enough to intrigue me.

Rating: 3.5 stars
Worthy of rounding to 4 on Amazon and GoodReads.

About Kerry Dwyer
(from Amazon)

Kerry Dwyer was born in Yorkshire, England. She was educated in the Home Counties. She spent nearly twenty five years working in finance in Europe and America before moving to South West France where she still lives. She works as an English Teacher to adults and writes in her spare time.

Her first book, "Ramblings in Ireland," was inspired by a holiday walking in Cork and Kerry with her French husband. She explores the cross channel cultural differences and rambles in the true Freudian sense.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not guaranteed or requested; the opinions expressed are my own.