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The Hills is Lonely (Common Reader Editions) Paperback – August, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
Ms Beckwith, a middle-aged spinster in the mid to late 1950's who lives in England, is ordered by her doctor to go somewhere in the countryside to rest and recuperate after an illness (we're never told what), so she puts an ad in a magazine and awaits replies. She is almost decided on going to a farm in Devon, when she receives a very bizarre and absolutely hilarious letter from a woman on the island of Bruach (apparently really the isle of Eigg) in the Hebrides, NOT the Shetlands, offering her accommodation. She is so amused by this letter that she chooses to go and stay there. Rather than a restful recuperation, she has to endure a stomach-churning ferry crossing in a storm, then she has to scale a six foot wall on her arrival on the island and things just get funnier from there! This is a wonderfully funny and gentle book, with an assortment of endearing and hilarious charaters, it's a real comfort read to snuggle up on the sofa with. Ms Beckwith does show the people in an amusing light, but this is done only with the greatest affection, and no malice whatever could be intended. The book is all the funnier when you know that all the incidents really happened and all the characters are real people. I would heartily recommend this book and the following FIVE books in the series:- Lightly Poached - The Sea for Breakfast - The Loud Halo - A Rope in Case - and Bruach Blend.
These really are lovely books, and I can't for the life of me understand why they haven't been turned into a film or at the very least a TV series, as they would be perfect Sunday evening family viewing.
The author was a middle-aged woman who, for some unknown reason (unknown to me), needed a "rest" cure and on a whim she ended up on a somewhat remote island in the Hebredies. This book, and many if not most of the others she apparently wrote, are based on her experiences there.
I suspect that this world no longer exists. There are perhaps (according to the language app Mango) ~100K speakers of Scottish Gaelic now and when this book was written/published in the 50s I assume there were a great many more. Maybe not. But I seriously think that this world is no longer around. Whether that is good or bad is not for me to say but I do immensely enjoy reading of her experiences. As another reviewer elsewhere said, "These are the precursor to the the 'A Year in Provence' " type books. But, really, this type of writing has been around for ages - it just doesn't always catch people's fancy.
Her depictions of the people she gets to know are interesting and often funny (I have laughed aloud on the subway many times in the past few days) without being judgmental and she doesn't give the impression of thinking herself"better" than them. I have found that travel writers sometimes end up making fun of the people they are with - laughing at, not with and I don't find that type of story enjoyable.
I'm looking forward to reading other that she has written...if I can find them in the US.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Entertaining and funny. A real feel good read. This is probably my fourth time around reading this delightful series.Published 2 months ago by JanieC
If you are into funny stories about the inhabitants of a remote islands off the west coast of mainland Scotland then you are in for a treat. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Molly C. Mcgill
Quite endearing, full of humour, and blisfully unpretensious!
One can't go wrong in taking up a Lillian Beckwith!
Thanks Mom, for introducing me to her many years ago!!
Lilian Bechwith's books are the best if you just want to "get away from it all."Published 6 months ago by Carrie Mullen
Book as described. Packed well. Easy transaction. Very good pricesPublished 11 months ago by Warrigul
It is so comforting , snuggle into bed and read in winter!!! HeavenlyPublished 11 months ago by Jan Dillon-Gibbons
Returned to the Beckwith series after many years. Still enjoyed re-visiting my homeland.Published 12 months ago by Bill Pattison