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Throughout his life, Michael Harding has lived with a sense of emptiness – through faith, marriage, fatherhood and his career as a writer, a pervading sense of darkness and unease remained.
When he was fifty-eight, he became physically ill and found himself in the grip of a deep melancholy. Here, in this beautifully written memoir, he talks with openness and honesty about his journey: leaving the priesthood when he was in his thirties, settling in Leitrim with his artist wife, the depression that eventually overwhelmed him, and how, ultimately, he found a way out of the dark, by accepting the fragility of love and the importance of now.

Staring at Lakes started out as a book about depression. And then became a story about growing old, the essence of love and marriage – and sitting in cars, staring at lakes.

Reviews

'Hilarious, and tender, and mad, and harrowing, and wistful, and always beautifully written. A wonderful book'
Kevin Barry, author of City of Bohane
'This frank and unflinching memoir offers a fascinating insight into the mind of the author of two of the finest Irish novels of the eighties'
Pat McCabe, author of The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto
'This memoir grabs you from the outset and holds you right to the end. Harding traverses the human soul and excavates its deepest secrets. His language sings. Extraordinary'
Deirdre Purcell, author of Pearl and Diamonds and Holes in My Shoes
'It's rare for a memoir to demand such intense emotional involvement, and rarer still for it to be so fully rewarded.'
Sunday Times
I read this book in one sitting ... it held me and wouldn't let it go
Mary McEvoy, Irish Independent
Engaging
Irish Examiner
Compelling
Sunday Business Post
Difficult to put down
Irish Times