Jade Angeles Fitton
‘I never imagined that the wind would blow me here, to a kind of isolation I have never experienced… There is never anything out here but my shadow, that no one treads on any more’
When Jade’s partner leaves the barn that they moved into just weeks before, he leaves a dent in the wall and her life unravelled. Numbed from years in a destructive, abusive relationship, she faces an uncertain future and complete solitude. Slowly, with the help of Devon’s salted cliffs and damp forested footpaths, Jade comes back to life and discovers the power of being alone.
As Jade reacclimatizes, she considers what it means to live alone. Through conversations with other hermits across the world, Fitton sheds light on the myriad – and often misunderstood – ways of living alone: from monks to hikikomori, and the largely ignored female hermit. Jade questions whether hermitic living is possible in an era of constant communication and increased housing costs as she finds herself financially unstable and itinerant. She realises that home doesn’t exist within walls, but within the landscape of her childhood home county.
Lyrically written, this is an inspirational story of recovery, of finding home, and of celebrating solitude in the natural world.
A dreamy, beautiful book about the consolations of solitude. In Hermit, Jade wanders a sunlit, windswept, delicately drawn landscape of loss and longing, and in doing so finds the stillness at the centre of herself. Hopeful and open-hearted. -- Cal Flyn, author of 'Islands of Abandonment' A book of spellbinding brilliance by a writer of rare talent. -- Tristan Gooley This distinctive, alluring memoir, reminiscent of The Outrun by Amy Liptrot, relates how Fitton slowly learns to live alone and celebrate solitude in the natural world. * The Bookseller * Written with often startling beauty, Hermit is an intimate account of the healing power of solitude. Though deeply personal, it explores universal truths about society and the human condition. A brave, brilliant and important book. -- Lee Schofield, author of Wild Fell I loved Hermit, hoovered it down in a day. Jade Angeles Fitton's life - from barns to huts to islands - is cleverly, brilliantly but honestly recorded. her search for boundary lines between herself and the beauty of the world is both engaging and true. She leaves us with an intense emotional understanding both of contemporary loneliness and the hermit's older companion, solitude - that state in which 'every living thing knows a secret.' -- M. John Harrison, author of 'Climbers'
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