Kiera & Me by Noel Fitzpatrick

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Kiera & Me by Noel Fitzpatrick

By Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

Kiera & Me by Noel Fitzpatrick

Kiera & Me by Noel Fitzpatrick is published Seven Dials (Orion). It is beautifully illustrated by Laura McKendry and described as a book ‘for animal lovers everywhere, or anyone who needs a little comfort this Christmas.’

I am a relatively recent convert to dog ownership having not had one growing up. Over seven years ago we brought home a Yorkiechon who we named Smudge, due to a mark on his ear as a puppy. Smudge has become part of the family and I have been surprised how I have adapted to him over the years. Anyone who knows me of old would know that I was never a dog lover. I never quite understood the bond between owner and pet and, unfortunately, on more than one occasion, I probably didn’t have the empathetic ear that was required when a friend’s dog was sick or died. But this has all changed. Smudge has brought comfort to every single one of us and has become a most central part of our home.

Noel Fitzpatrick’s relationship with his dog Kiera was clearly something very special. When Noel was struggling in life, it was Kiera who he turned to to help him through the difficult times. The bond between the pair was significant and, in this absolutely stunningly illustrated book, Noel reflects on those days and on the joy and the sense of worth that Kiera brought into his life.

In 2022, Noel Fitzpatrick revealed that he was sexually abused as a child and later bullied in his very personal memoir Beyond Supervet. He struggled through life, trying to comprehend what had happened to him but his survival was very much due to his relationship with animals and his magical bond with Kiera. The illustrations and the words that accompany them provide an insight into some of the darker moments.

‘Being silent together was the best conversation I ever had.’

Kiera & Me by Noel FitzpatrickKiera & Me is a poignant and tender exploration of the extraordinary relationship between Noel Fitzpatrick and Kiera. At times, the presentation of words didn’t quite work for me but it is a sincere and gentle tribute to the memory of a best friend and confidante. I am sure there are many readers who will feel comfort from this book, especially approaching this festive time of year, when we miss those we love more than ever.

(c) Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

Order your copy online here.

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