Mystery in the Wicklow Hills


Glendalough – which is Gaelic for ‘Glen of the Two Lakes’


I recently received an email from author Thomas Rice, who was born in Carlow in Ireland and moved to the US decades ago. After studying at Columbia University and teaching at Georgetown, he now spends his free time writing.

He wrote:

“…as a fellow Wicklow and Powerscourt Falls lover. During a sabbatical year in Ireland (1978), I lived in a cottage up on Carrigoona Commons and did many a tour of Roundwood on my way down to Glendalough. Still a mystical place, sacred for me in a way I find hard to explain…somehow the spirituality of that whole Sugarloaf region around Enniskerry and the Dargle is unique on this planet. I’ve never been happier than the time I spent there.”

Thomas recently wrote Far From the Land, and one of his short stories is included in the book The Best American Mystery Stories – 2012.

The story is captivating. An Irish boy wonders why his mother has such respect in the community, and the answer is not what he expected.

For those who know the Wicklow Hills and appreciate rapid changes to local weather, the descriptions of landscape and climate will be familiar:

The turf fire was still smoldering in the grate and a moaning wind swept down from the Sugarloaf, rattling the ancient doors and windowpanes.

…a somber, rain-soaked dawn was breaking over Enniskerry as Myles pedaled his Raleigh across the Dargal bridge…

They looked like a couple right out of Failte magazine, out for a stroll in the lush Wicklow countryside.



Forest pathway next to Roundwood Reservoir in the Wicklow Hills


Thomas appreciates how to set up suspense in a story, and portrays well the cloudy magic of the Wicklow Hills. It’s wonderful to hear from another author who respects the rare power and beauty of this eastern Irish landscape.

To learn more about Thomas and his writing, check out:

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