Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The House on an Irish Hillside” as Want to Read:
The House on an Irish Hillside
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The House on an Irish Hillside

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  19 reviews
This is the story of how one woman's life was transformed by a remarkable village on the Dingle peninsula in Ireland. It's a life-affirming tale of rediscovering lost values and cherishing loved ones and the communities we live in.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Hodder General Publishing Division (first published June 7th 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The House on an Irish Hillside, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The House on an Irish Hillside

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 193)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Felicity Hayes-McCoy tells a compelling story of the Kerry region that she adopted. Although she gre up in Dublin she went to London to learn and practice her profession (acting, writing, playwriting). Descendant of Galway and Eniscorthy folk, she developed an early love for the Irish language which first took her to the rural Dingle peninsula. Caught up in a busy London career, she purchases an old house and is drawn into the ancient cycles of rural Irish life. Hayes-McCoy's love of the Irish l ...more
This book is a true love story between Felicity and the spectacularly beautiful Dingle Peninsula. From the day of her arrival as a student of Irish at the age of 17, the magic of the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, in the south-west of Ireland filtered into her heart and mind down the years, the incessant ‘pull’ culminating in herself and her English husband buying Tí Neillí Mhuiris – (The house of Nellie, daughter of Muris), a house built from stones picked from the fields and remembered with ...more
This clever memoir writing seems like an indulgence. The book takes you to Felicity's home and to numerous story scenes. There are contrasts in setting and peoples but always a warmth and the feeling of being welcome.The rich writing handles description of places and traditions remarkably well and intertwines that with the use of music and word.You can almost hear the ocean and smell the mountain air of Western Ireland.She talks of a landscape representing memories that shouldn't be destroyed an ...more
I loved this book! I read it after visiting Dingle and the area surrounding it even though I had it before then I chose to see the area first then read it. I couldn't put it down. She tells about the area in a way a true story teller should, bringing culture, people, government, economy and traditions all together. She describes the people and land everyone can relate to and made me love the area even more.
Molly Ewing
My enthusiasm for this book may be partly due to the fact that I picked it up from an Eason's in Carlow, and read it while traveling to and around the locations where it is set on the Dingle Peninsula. It is a lovely memoir, incorporating elements of Irish history, mythology and anthropology with the very personal story of finding, purchasing, and renovating a traditional cottage, learning the wisdom of a specific place, and becoming part of a small community "out back" in the Gaeltalk village o ...more
I bought this book in the Dingle Bookshop as I left the peninsula, and read it in airports and aeroplanes on my way back from Ireland to New Zealand. It was a lovely way to name all the things I love about home and it brought the realisation that what's important is bringing the quality of life that Felicity describes to whatever place you live in. Life here in rural NZ is not the same as life in Corca Dhuibhne, the strands don't overlap and weave together in the same way as they do there. But s ...more
Dorothy Fitzgerald
i was able to read this while i was living in the exact location that the story takes place, Dingle, Ireland.
i would have enjoyed this book regardless, but being able to walk the roads where the story takes place, certainly influenced me. This is a well written book, well researched and honest to the culture of the location. This is a memoir and travel book. If you have been to Dingle, or are going to Ireland this is a good book to read. And if you just want to go to Ireland.... but can't.... t
I loved this memoir of the author's life on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, a most beautiful land! I loved how she weaves in Irish mythology, Celtic lore, and observations about the landscape.
This was my bedtime story book to give me sweet dreams of Ireland!It took me right there!
Joanne Dillon
This is a lovely memoir, gentle and caring. Anyone who loves Ireland, especially the west coast and Kerry, will enjoy it. Felicity Hayes-McCoy mixes Celtic myths, Irish traditions and tales of modern living in a wonderful, sometimes humorous book. I recommend it.
i loved this book! it was so beautifully written and, to put it simply, it made me smile. i could visualize everything as i read and it made my heart ache to be there, to live a life filled with beauty, community and memories. this book is a true treasure.
Loved the history and reading about her experiences in London and Ireland
I read this immediately it was published and loved every minute of it. I've just been prompted to comment here while reviewing her most recent book. This is a wonderful description of a journey to a less stressful existence, memories of story-telling, making new friends and learning old ways on the western-most tip of Ireland. It is a great read, I highly recommend you take a look - I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
I loved this book. I wish I had a better word for it than "love," because it took me right back to the two weeks we spent on Slea Head a few years ago. Everything I felt about Dingle and Slea Head and Dunquin and Ventry and all of the little villages surrounding Slea Head and the Blasket Islands...all of it is in this book.

The Dingle Peninsula is a magical place, and I really wasn't particularly familiar with all of the Celtic history, but Hayes-McCoy gives a good history of how those traditions
Tamara Willems
Beautifully written, bringing to life the sights, sounds and smells, rooted in tradition and a rich community life. All perfectly described as to paint a glorious picture, leaves one feeling like they have just visited an enchantingly loving time and place and coming away perfectly rested and restored by the beauty of the earth.
First half was great reading, then it seemed to slow to a crawl....had a hard time finishing it
I really enjoyed some of her imagery, some of the pictures of her and her husband Wilf and their community life in Corca Dhuibhne. Overall, though, some slower moments, and didn't as much care for the mythological pieces, or as much the pieces in London. That probably has more to do with my expectations going into the book than taking it for what it is.
A bit slow going at times. I was less interested in the stuff about her house renovation, etc. and more interested in her observations about social and cultural life on the Dingle Peninsula.
It is what it is, more a diary than a novel, nice language style but not for me I struggled.
I think if I visit Ireland I might have a different rating. Some day maybe...
Kapbean marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
Kristina marked it as to-read
May 17, 2015
Elizabeth Crafts
Elizabeth Crafts marked it as to-read
May 06, 2015
Amy is currently reading it
May 05, 2015
Lisa Donegan
Lisa Donegan is currently reading it
Apr 30, 2015
Bridget is currently reading it
May 24, 2015
Sylwia marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2015
BeachRat marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Felicity Hayes-McCoy graduated in English and Irish from University College Dublin in the 1970s. She then built a successful UK-based career as an actress and writer, working in theatre, music theatre, radio, tv, and digital media, and married her husband,English opera director, Wilf Judd.

Her memoir, The House on an Irish Hillside - described as 'wise, funny' and 'blazingly beautiful' by the actre
More about Felicity Hayes-McCoy...
Christmas at the House on an Irish Hillside Enough Is Plenty - The Year On The Dingle Peninsula Finn's Thumb (Panda Legends) Enough is Plenty: The Year on the Dingle Peninsula Storyline Ireland

Share This Book

“This book tells my story. I’m writing it in Ireland, in a house on a hillside. The house sits low in the landscape between a holy well and the site of an Iron Age dwelling. It was built of stones ploughed out of the fields by men who knew how to raise them with their hands and to lock one stone to the next so each was firm. It’s a lone house on the foothills of the last mountain on the Dingle peninsula, the westernmost point in mainland Europe. At night the sky curves above it like a dark bowl, studded with stars.

From the moment I crossed the mountain, I fell in love with the place, which was more beautiful than any I’d ever seen. And with a way of looking at life that was deeper, richer, and wiser than any I’d known before.”
More quotes…