Grace Cavanaugh is intelligent, kind-and a bit of a wise ass. Lately, though, she's also something else: completely lost and just a little crazy. Her entire world has collapsed since Valentine's Day, when her husband, Michael, died unexpectedly after a romantic dinner celebrating their devotion. With her world turned upside down, she abandons the couple's gorgeous Victorian mansion and retreats to a cramped apartment with their three dogs in tow. Living in misery, barely finding energy to walk the dogs, Grace succumbs to her sorrow.
Just as she hits bottom, a relative she hasn't seen in years calls out of the blue. Maggie Reilly, her eighty-six-year-old great aunt who still lives in the house she was born in, has troubles of her own. She desperately needs a family member to take care of her, so she reaches out to Grace hoping the bond they shared decades ago remains strong enough to bring her great niece back home.
Hungry Hill is a story navigating the complexities of love in its many forms and how it endures. It explores our desire to belong to each other and to live a life of connectedness. It also reminds us to keep our sense of humor no matter what life brings, and to never underestimate the power of a great pair of shoes.
“Eileen Patricia Curran excels at painting a portrait of a woman forced to re-envision herself and her choices in the face of devastating tragedy.
Hers is a compelling story of loss, recovery, and newfound connections and life purpose which will especially appeal to women facing their own transformations.”
"Hungry Hill is cathartic, witty, heartwarming, and highly recommended."
—Midwest Book Review
“It all comes together really well; extremely professional, and it works . . . I think you have written something very respectful . . . (regarding the characters in Hungry Hill being shrouded in kindness) I actually love that because we certainly need a lot more kindness in our world today.”
—Vicki St. Clair, host of Conversations Live with Vicki St. Clair
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Average rating from 46 members
What a lovely book this is. I loved every word. The characters are memorable, likeable, and realistic. It was sweet, and funny, and it made me laugh out loud, but also cry a few tears. I look forward to more from Ms. Curran.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review. Initially I was sceptical about reading a book written by and based in the US with American-isms, but this was quickly dispelled and I found myself living every moment and completely absorbed in the story. It was so true to life and engaging. This is an extremely sensitive and meaningful novel about watching a loved one suffer and slowly pass away. It is written with a great deal of compassion and understanding of the complexities of love, loss and grief.. Beautifully written and for a debut novel the author has excelled.
This was a lovely read that made me laugh, cry and smile – a lot. It is well written with a good flow and well developed and very likeable characters. Highly recommended.
I loved this debut novel by Eileen Patricia Curran. This novel took an excellent look at loss and grief, heartbreak, love and connection, moving on and resilience—all wrapped up in one. And it was freaking hilarious, too! I found myself laughing out loud multiple times. I couldn’t help but fall in love with every single character. She had a way of making the characters come to life, and they’ll definitely stay with me long past finishing this book. I feel like I know them in real life 😂 It was witty, charming, romantic, light-hearted, real, and heavy all at once. I can’t wait to see more from this author in the future.
I’ve been reading Hungry Hill at the same time as watching the HBO drama Mare of Eastown and in the moments between Maggie and her great niece Grace, that could have been dialogue written for the scenes between Mare and her mother, played brilliantly by Jean Smart. Those moments made me smile and had me invested in their relationship going forward. This is a novel about love, not just romantic love, but familial love and the kind of bonds that come from going through something tough together. Grace is at a crossroads in life, I enjoyed her intelligence and her smart ass sense of humour. However, lately she’s felt lost and has wondered if she isn’t in danger of going completely crazy. She’s struggling with grief after her world fell apart on Valentine’s Day, when her husband Michael suddenly died after their romantic dinner. Unable to be in their home, a beautiful Victorian house, she has ended up in a three bedroom flat and has retreated completely from the world with her rescue dogs. She’s so lost she doesn’t know how to rebuild, when a call comes from her Great Aunt Maggie. She is 86, as smart as a whip but very ill and in need of someone to take care of her. Grace and Maggie had a bond when she was a little girl and Maggie is hoping that enough of a link still remains for Grace to help her. At this point Grace has barely had the energy to walk the dogs. I connected with that sense of being bone weary and the way grief can feel like a physical ailment, snuffing out all but the basic tasks in life. Grace answers Maggie’s call, not just out of familial duty, but because she needs a distraction from her own grief. She hopes to find herself again in the act of caring for someone else. I loved the way these two women come together and are each other’s saviours in a way - or at least floating on the same life raft. I worried though, that just as Maggie found herself able to form a bond with her aunt, she would lose her and the cycle of grief would start over again. I thought this was a gentle and sensitive look at loss, but also resilience and the ability to move forward - even if it is in a different direction. I loved Maggie’s character and the different personalities of the dogs. I related to the place Grace finds herself in and there’s some truth in the way she’s stumbling forwards not necessarily in the right direction. There’s nothing straightforward about loss and it doesn’t automatically make someone wiser or more able to avoid mistakes along the way.
I love this book. It touches on every human emotion, love, grief, insecurity, guilt, and does it beautifully. The characters are so likable and relatable, flaws and all. Grace is so funny and her aunt Maggie is a feisty eighty six years old. Matt is a neighbor who is also funny. The author has taken loss of a loved one and the many ways we handle that and written a beautiful heartwrenching story. I highly recommend. I can't wait to see what this author writes.next! Thank you Net Galley for allowing me to read this incredible ARC for my honest opinion.
I was granted a free copy of this text by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was tough to read for me because the loss of a patriarch for a family is fresh in my brain. Definite trigger warning. Overall though, the ending was worth the read.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review. I laughed, out loud and shed a tear or two. Grace Cavanaugh finds herself at the end of a deep, dark and solitary year, mourning for a husband and life lost, barely existing in a barren lonely apartment with three dogs and little else. With such a dark and dreary start I was pleasantly surprised to find myself laughing, out loud, only two chapters in. Grace is a bit of a wise ass, her comebacks and quips are unexpected and hilarious. Favoured Aunt Maggie Reilly, a rather independent salty soul needs her help. Grace weaves her way to discovering how to live life again, while navigating how to care for such an independent and outspoken soul, knowing full well the ending will bring her even more loss. Like all good novels, I was sad when it ended. I look forward to reading more from Eileen Curran
Hungry Hill by Eileen Patricia Curran caught my eye with the cover initially. This is an extremely sensitive and meaningful novel about watching a loved one suffer and slowly pass away. It is written with a great deal of compassion and understanding of the complexities of love, loss and grief. I was hooked… I wiped tears away tears…
This book took me a minute to actually get into. There were sad parts, funny parts, touching moments, a bit of romance, and a lot of longing for what might have been. The relationship between Grace and her great aunt Maggie was touching and beautiful, and I can only say that I hope someone will be there for me like Grace was for Maggie if I’m ever in that position. From the middle of the book until very near the end, the book had me captured and I enjoyed what I was reading. However, I was very disappointed in the ending. It felt as if there wasn’t really an ending, but that the book just stopped. Had I known that at the beginning, I would not have even ventured to read it. Yet, I am glad I did and for that reason I would probably rate the book 3 1/2 stars, but because I enjoyed the good in it, I will give it a generous four stars. Thank you to NetGalley for the advance read copy.
A great read! Started out a little slow and confusing but once I got into it, couldn't put it down. The story of Grace and her grief of losing her husband to joining her great aunt Maggie in her final days brought Grace to closure and peace. Maggie was truly a character to be reckoned with! Despite the sadness in Maggie's final days, this brought great joy to Grace and those that surrounded her and assisted along the way!
This is a lovely meditative read. I read it in one sitting. Not a lot happens but it is an easy compelling read and addresses some universal issues we all deal with at some point or other; grief, love, end of life, family, heartbreak, going home That said, there is a lovely thread of humor throughout and reading this book had me smiling quite often. The characters are all likeable and realistic; human beings at their best, mostly. There is a level of unsaid sensitivity evident amongst them that I wish I saw more of in real life. It’s not often we get to read a book about the close relationship of an aunt and a niece and I enjoyed that aspect. The touch of romance was endearing without being overly dramatic. I’m so impressed with the writing of this debut novel. It’s light-hearted and engaging even as it deals with much of the unpleasantness of life and death. The dialogue is movie ready! The ending satisfied this reader; some things resolved and a touch of hope for the future. Ultimately, dealing with grief and moving on is an individual journey and Curran doesn’t sugar coat anything. I’ll definitely be checking out anything else this talented author publishes. In fact, I’d love to revisit these characters in the next stage of their lives. I missed them at the end and that’s a testament to how well the author developed each one, even the minor players like the doctor and the brother. Thanks to NetGalley and Kinsale Press for the preview and the introduction to a new author to follow.
After suffering a personal loss, Grace moves in with her great-aunt, Maggie, to care for her. What follows is a story of friendship and love. Grace and Maggie support one another and give each other what they need, including the needed space for Grace to process her loss and find the strength to move forward. The supporting characters were excellent and well written as well. Two special characters were the neighbor, Matt, and the nurse, Henry, who added a lot to the story and made me smile. It's always nice to read about men who are strong and genuinely nice guys.
I loved the premise of this book and was even more excited about the location considering I completed my Master's degree in the Springfield area of MA. The characters were so well developed and you immediately fall in love with them and their connection to one another. I like that the main character has a love interest and is able to pick up the pieces of her life. I think the reader understands what is going to happen to Maggie the entire time, but it was still extremely emotional. To depict such a sharp decline in Maggie's medical status and the need for caregiving while still allowing characters to maintain some sense of humor is a skill. I also loved that the dogs were a decent part of the story. This book really touched me and made me feel some things :) I hope to see more from this author in the future!!
Oh, Grace. I love her. Someone who could appear boring but is so quirky! A lovely tale of family, love and the choices we make while dealing with grief. An easy story to fall into.
I loved this character driven novel! I found it to be equally funny, tender and emotional. Perfect summer read.
This debut novel hit all the feels. It was beautifully written and took me on a roller coaster of emotions. I laughed, I cried, and sometimes both happened at the same time. This is a novel about true love, loss, and the journey of recovery from the intense pain and learning to live life again. This was a page=turning do not put down until the end book. However, the end left me wanting more of Grace and her story of learning to love and live again. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for a requested advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
This was a beautifully written story, about Grace Cavanaugh, who is grieving the loss of her husband, and her great Aunt Maggie, who is dying. Grace decides to go stay with her great aunt, They found they had a deep connection, and when Matt, the young man next door met her, there was a connection there too. The connections, I think it what made this a beautiful story. Before I started reading it, I thought I would cry, and it would be difficult to read. As I read it, it became a journey, of finding special moments, creating wonderful memories, finding things to laugh about, and the surrounding people, added a lot to the story. Grace brought her two dogs with her and the dogs, was a comfort to Maggie. They would watch over her, she would talk to them and laugh, and they lifted her spirits. When Maggie's time was getting shorter, they fired a nurse. The doctor knew the perfect nurse and when he told Grace who it was, she didn't think so, but the doctor told her it would be fine. This just added to the story, with humor, with understanding, and having the nurse there was comforting because he knew what would be happening as the time went on. This gave me an insight on grieving, and being there for someone dying, Grace lifted my spirits with her sassy attitude, still grieving her husband, but finding comfort in helping her great aunt during her difficult time. Grace and Maggie comforted each other. Grace, I think, inherited her sassy attitude from her aunt, because the things those two did, had me laughing quite a bit. I received an ARC from Kinsale Press, through NetGalley. This is Eileen Patricia Curran debut novel, and I was surprised because this book brought out so many emotions, but reading it, I felt such peace.
I loved this book. Curran's style, the women upon whom the story focuses, and the dogs, who were awesome, fill this novel with laughter and happiness. Hungry Hill is by a first-time writer, Eileen Patricia Curran, but although this is a first novel, the author is an accomplished writer. The subject is about loss, and except near the end, when I had to wipe away tears. This isn't a sad book. It is a novel about finding a way forward after loss. Hungry Hill is also about love and about families and about discovering strength within ones self. Thank you to the author and to net galley for providing me with this awesome novel to review.
Grace is adrift and bereft after the sudden and unexpected death ofher beloved husband Michael. When she is asked to move in with her elderly great aunt, who has a few months to live, and to take care of her, she responds to the challenge. She rediscovers their old bond, meets new people and finds that, as Maggie’s life draws to a close, hers is still worth living. The subject of the novel makes it sound heavy and depressing, but it is not like that at all- laced generously with humour, warmth and even joy, it is rather a feelgood story of how life continues and love never dies, but is always around us if we look for it. Maggie’s illness is treated sensitively, although her passing is comparatively gentle and easy, in contrast with the brief description later in the book of Michael’s horrible, shocking collapse and death. Grace begins to find herself again as she makes the most of Maggie’s last weeks, enjoying simple pleasures and little luxuries and finding acceptance of her loss. Sometimes everyone seems a little too nice- every character from neighbours to workmen to carers fall over themselves to be generous and helpful- but this is balanced by the sadness of Maggie’s deterioration. Grace’s two dogs are also a total delight and make a great case for dogs for therapy! A lovely, thoughtful read.
I received a free electronic ARC of this excellent debut novel on July 15, 2021, from Netgalley, Eileen Patricia Curran, and Kinsale Press. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read Hungry Hill of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Ms. Curran writes a tight, well-peopled tale with heart and soul. She understands the angst of grief and portrays it very well. I hope she will write many more books. She is the kind of author I try to follow. Grace Cavanaugh was called to the bedside of her great-aunt Maggie Reilly in Springfield, Massachusetts, the suburb of Hungry Hill, hometown to most of their extended and now scattered family. Maggie, well-loved by all, was the only Cavanaugh/Reilly family member left in the Springfield area. Maggie had cancer and it was terminal. Gracie wasn't sure she could handle her care after losing her husband unexpectedly just months before, but she was the only person in the immediate family who would be able to drop everything and take care of Maggie. Maggie never married and her generation was all gone. Grace's parents were on a long-awaited tour in Europe, and everyone else had children or important jobs or just couldn't handle the grief. In her youth Grace and Maggie had always had a very close relationship. Although they had lost that close contact over time they had always shared a birthday. Grace and her dogs Ellen and Stogie make their way to renew ties with Maggie and the friends she grew up with as a child in Hungry Hill. And watching Maggie begin to fail intensified all the grief she had buried after the sudden loss of her husband Michael. Grief that was keeping her hostage from the world, from healing and getting on with life. Grief that she had to get past before she could move on. But with the help of Maggie and her next-door neighbor Matt, Grace could begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
"Hungry Hill" was the first book I have read by Eileen Patricia Curran. The characters were very well developed and likable. I enjoyed the book but felt like the ending need more closure. ...more
Title: Hungry Hill Author: Eileen Patricia Curran Publisher: Kinsale Press Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: Four Review: "Hungry Hill" by Eileen Patricia Curran My Opinion: 'Hungry Hill' was a good read that had me laughing out loud and tearing up with this likable, true-to-life story of what can happen when a loved one dies. As this was for the heroine of our story, Grace Cavanaugh had suffered both ways in losing her husband, Michael, and her great aunt Maggie Reilly. What will happen when her aunt asks Grace to come and take care of her due to her illness? The author gives the reader quite a read as one watches a loved one suffer and slowly pass away. The supporting characters like [Matt, Henry] were all well-developed and well defined, helping to give the reader an understanding of the emotional complexities of what it means when one has lost to love and grief as it was for Grace. This was a beautiful story of one dealing with grief and moving on. Oh, and the dogs, Ellen and Stogie, were quite a part of this story that would put a smile on your face. Grace was really something with her sassy attitude but finding comfort in helping her great-aunt was really something that presented a realness to the story.
Eileen Patricia Curran has written a beautiful novel on the importance of relationships during the most challenging times in our lives. Grace Cavanaugh is mourning the unexpected death of her husband, Michael, when she agrees to shepherd her great aunt, Maggie, through her last days battling terminal cancer. With easy to read prose, natural banter between family and friends, this book teaches the importance that healing from grief takes time, love and purpose. Comfortable and comforting with very relatable characters. Thanks to NetGalley for another opportunity to become acquainted with an author I might not have otherwise discovered.
Grace has lost her husband a year ago and she is floundering with her two dogs. Grace's great aunt Maggie (who both share the same birthday) is 86 and has terminal cancer. Maggie has asked Grace to move in to help her in her time of need. Grace is still grieving her husband but she is close to Maggie so she can not so no. Grace and Maggie's relationship is humorous and it helps to get them both past the days and weeks. I inhaled this book and would recommend it. Thank you Netgalley for the arc and Eileen Curran for an exception read.