About The Book
In 2017, Sophie Pierce’s life changed forever when her twenty-year-old son Felix died suddenly and unexpectedly. Thrown into an unimaginable new reality, she had to find a way to survive. By writing letters to Felix – composed during walks and swims taken close to his burial place by the River Dart – Sophie gradually learned how to live in the landscape of sudden loss, navigating the weather and tides of grief.
The Green Hill collects these letters alongside Sophie’s account of the years following Felix’s death, into which she weaves poignant memories of his life. What results is a deeply moving, beautifully captured record of how – amid the rivers and rocks of Dartmoor, and in the sea off the South Devon coast – Sophie was able to hold on to and nurture her bond with Felix, both in her mind and through a physical engagement with the landscape: actively mourning, rather than grieving.
This book is a celebration of the natural world and the role it plays in our lives and relationships, as well as an examination of how beauty, a sense of place and the passing seasons can help us contend with our own mortality. Above all, The Green Hill is one woman’s story of navigating through trauma and loss, and towards a fragile, complicated kind of joy.
'In The Green Hill, Sophie Pierce writes about the sudden death of her son Felix with an aching and gentle honesty [...] This is a book that will be a great comfort to those who need it' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent and Melmoth
'The Green Hill is an extraordinary book… I thought of the fairy tale in which a captured princess must weave clothes from stinging nettles: Sophie Pierce has wrought something beautiful and useful from the darkest pain' Cressida Connolly, novelist and critic
'This is a book about what it means to be a human, and that, we find, is a high, deep, demanding calling, of terrible beauty' Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast
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