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Summary

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

This is a story about uncovering the things that really matter and discovering what makes us feel alive. It is a story about finding that inner strength and resilience, and never giving up hope.

Eight years ago, Kathleen Hart was diagnosed with breast cancer. Further complications led to a protracted recovery and months spent in hospital, where Kathleen had to learn how to walk again. While recuperating, she came across a small whitewashed 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 and named it Devorgilla after the formidable 13th century Scottish princess. 

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. And, with the support of her virtual worldwide community who know her as PoshPedlar on Instagram, she rebuilds her life again.

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.

©2021 Kathleen Hart (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"We all need a Devorgilla Cottage somewhere in our hearts." (Kirsty Wark)

"Beautifully written." (Alexander Armstrong)

What listeners say about Devorgilla Days

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interesting, inspiring

I know Wigtown quite well, lovely picturing it. Lovely narrative and inspiring. Would love to hear more

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A delightful heart warming tale.

The author has experienced the extremely traumatic events, which she doesn’t shy away from mentioning. The book is also a tale of hope, of finding one’s feet after having had the rig well and truly whipped out from underneath. I’m a lover of Galloway and Wigtown too, which added to me enjoyment.

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A brilliant listen

I found this book to be a brilliant all rounder. The story is awe inspiring in that Katheleen’s battle with her health has been amazing, she has survived & come out the other side with a real zest for life, it seems. It’s a well told story that keeps ones interest constantly and Lucy Paterson’s narration is very entertaining. I thoroughly recommend it & hope there is another book in the pipeline.

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extremely well written

I had to listen to this book for various reasons. And I am glad I did. it's powerful and evokes very strong feelings. it's a journey of possibly one of the strongest lady you will ever encounter. very well written in a manner that transfers the reader to the beautiful part of the world she calls now home. she has found her ' raison d'etre '. she is extremely talented at writing..always said .. can't wait to read many more and to see this one on the silver screen! it's perfect for that medium.imho. wishing Kathleen only the best

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Sack the producer/narrator!

I live in Wigtown, so feel I've got some skin in the game here! Honestly, I'm only a couple of hours into listening and am increasingly upset.... fundamental to the story is the description of the local landscape - the machars. Why couldn't the narrator/producer check the pronunciation? I'm distractedly anticipating the next reference to the 'marshaaars' - sloppy work, folks!

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Made my spirits Soar - Hopeful, Healing, Inspiring

A brilliant well-written and beautifully read memoir appealing to anyone dreaming of escaping the rat race to a cottage in the country (post pandemic "work from home" making it more possible than ever)!

I love Kathleen Hart’s story of life in the tiny quaint village of Wigtown in south-west Scotland. How she renovated a wreck of a cottage to start her new life after months of illness that makes you marvel she’s still alive.
Not only alive - but thriving, with cold water sea swims and a community of support and caring neighbours.
Or is her recovery and joy in life also due to the pure country air - perhaps even the magnetic magical ley-lines?

Bravo Kathleen Hart!! I too am a dedicated cold water sea swimmer here in Capetown and as I currently recover for 10 weeks in bed following foot surgery your story is the breath of Scottish air I needed to tune into every day being a good day.

The author epitomizes the phrase “ indomitable spirit” and both my hubby and I (who are based on the Isle of Wight when not summering in Capetown) absolutely resonate with this delightful book.

"Devorgilla Days" is the kind of book you can dip into any time to "breathe in courage...breathe our fear". Because each chapter can stand alone with the power to move you and paint a picture of the Scottish landscape, seasons, and village life where friendliness and kindness are the norms.

I loved the chapter on Christmas in Wigtown towards the end of the book - and fair warning - the scrumptious food described in this chapter and throughout the book will make you long for home-made baking and Scottish shortbread.

Do yourself a favor and listen to this feel-good, poetically written memoir - totally hopeful, healing, and inspiring. And rightfully lauded by the author's thousands of Instagram followers where she posts as @poshpedlar

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  • Nick
  • 30-06-22

Inspirational!

Kathleen
Is so inspiring as she works through each hurdle in her life and proves to be such an overcomer.
One cannot listen to her gripping story and not walked away moved and wanting more for our lives than things!

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  • Don Wedge
  • 17-01-22

Fabulous performance

The narrator was captivating speaking all the different accents needed to bring the book to life. I’ve already shared a link for the book to my close friends and family.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-09-21

loved it !

I loved this audiobook. it is a lovely story well read. The author also has a great Instagram account.

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  • Kim
  • 27-08-21

Thoroughly Enjoyable

Devorgilla Days was a delightful book. Kathleen Hart shares her health battles and experiences, which bring her to heal her mind and body in a small coastal town in Scotland. The townspeople of Wigtown are an amazing bunch who help Hart recover. The locals are a brilliant example of kindness and love as they take in an outsider and care for her in truly admirable ways. Hart is good at going through the needed steps from living in highly-charged London to a quiet and purposeful life in Wigtown. The process of editing her life, taking a good look at what truly matters, and making needed changes, adds to the pleasure of this book. Well done, Ms. Hart.

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  • Stephanie
  • 16-08-21

Beautifully written, beautifully read!!!

An incredible story, told by an incredible soul. I can’t recommend enough. This will be one I listen to again.

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  • Lynn C Gregson
  • 11-08-21

Devorgilla Days 🧡

This book is beautifully read by Lucy Patterson. Devorgilla Days, is a true inspirational delight. I've always loved her writings on Instagram, but kept wondering why she hasn't written more books. She is such a talented writer. How do we handle the crisis of life? She guides us with humor and thoughtfulness to see beauty in the details and community around us. To try new things. "swim in the sea!". I was sad when it ended. I've bought several copies to give as gifts. Many of my friends could use a dose of Devorgilla Days🧡🐑

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  • Collage of Life
  • 13-07-21

Sassy, strong and brave with bucketloads of moxie.

Kathleen Hart draws us in with her wit and wisdom in Devorgilla Days: A Memoir of Hope and Healing. An engaging storyteller, every scene of her new life in the bookish village of Wigtown gives you the feeling that something exciting is about to happen. She makes it happen. Still standing and determined after one devastating health blow after another, she sets her sights on the future, which happens to be “Scotland’s National Book Town’. She buys a dilapidated house, renovates, and names it “Devorgilla, after a thirteenth-century Scottish noblewoman, Lady of Galloway. She was sassy, strong, and brave with bucketloads of moxie.” The house reflects the new owner who has moxie in spades. She takes to wild swimming to heal her tired body, joins The October Club, Knit and Knatter, Reading Lasses for Lunch, takes Gaelic lessons, beekeeping, and more. In these pages, she finds who she truly is, and we cheer her on. It is what I loved about this book, a reminder that life is precious, it is to be celebrated, and that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.