Woman of Clay

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Bernadette O'Connor, 2008 - Ireland - 197 pages
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WOMAN OF CLAY is a timeless story about finding the courage to follow one's heart. It is for an adult readership and is approximately 60,000 words in length. Riona is a skilled potter who lives on the island of Slane. She fantasises about creating a clay figure of her own design, her own woman of clay. She longs to feel that she is valued and accepted by others on the island. She longs to feel safe, to have companionship and a sense of belonging. But Riona lives on an island where there are dark cloaks to wear, many rules and paths to follow, and endless shallow platters and hollow pots to throw from her wheel. The expectations and judgements of the other islanders govern Riona's life, just as the stones that border the many paths on Slane confine her direction. There is no place for a woman of clay. She is alone when she looks from her cave out to sea to the world beyond. She is alone when she sits on the cliffs and when she sees strange flickering lights at night and is scared. And she is alone when she witnesses a suicide. She alone can see Murtagh, the confronting and enigmatic hermit whom the others believe is dead. Is he a figment of her imagination or a tangible connection to those on the other side? Riona has always been told those on the mainland are evil. Her first visit there is both confronting and exciting she must reconcile what she has grown up believing and what she has now seen with her own eyes. Her meetings with the mysterious Anya and the circus performers are both confusing and potentially life-changing. Back on the island once more Riona finds her life just like her potter's wheel is spinning out of control. She realises she is a prisoner, cloaked and bound by the expectations of others. She must find the courage to reshape her woman of clay and with it, release her true self. She must be Riona, Woman of Clay.
 

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Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
7
Section 3
9
Section 4
21
Section 5
39
Section 6
51
Section 7
59
Section 8
65
Section 13
115
Section 14
125
Section 15
131
Section 16
141
Section 17
149
Section 18
157
Section 19
165
Section 20
177

Section 9
69
Section 10
77
Section 11
91
Section 12
107
Section 21
189
Section 22
195
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