Sacred Groves

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How a Cemetery Saved My Soul

Kathleen Davies

Bink Books
262 pp. ● 5.5×8.5
$16.95 (pb) ● $9.99 (eb)
ISBN 978-1-945805-98-1 (pb)

SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies

Publication date: June 2019

About the Book

In the not-so-sacred Groves of Academe, where female colleagues can be less than supportive and male colleagues downright intimidating and even devious, Kathleen Davies felt intense pressure to prove herself as an English professor. But in the beautiful local cemetery, she found a truly sacred landscape that offered not only relief but inspiration. Once she was denied the professional success she had dreamed of, her interest in cemeteries became an obsession, and her photoshoots with her dog all over Ohio evolved into a spiritual quest that led to a surprising self-discovery.

By turns meditative and lyrical, at times even hilarious, Sacred Groves traces a spiritual journey from anxiety and failure to self-acceptance. It is a book for anyone who has ever failed to prove themselves, only to discover something far more important than worldly achievement could ever give. It is a story of resilience, healing, and salvation and a celebration of the power of landscape to lift our spirits higher.

Kathleen’s website is

For Readers and Book Clubs: Sacred Groves Reading Guide


The-MEMOIR-PRIZE-FOR-BOOKS-Logo-1 Honorable Mention
2020 The Memoir Prize For Books

“This memoir is an adventure through reality, bringing to the surface the sacred meaning of the human experience. Through meditation in a safe, solemn space, she was able to connect the insensible and unleash her inner creative. Davies proves that if one’s heart isn’t in their work, there isn’t a point in pursuing it, especially if there’s a lack of self. With that, she also is a living example that the pressures in society did not hinder her spirit.” — Review, Glassworks

“Kathleen Davies’ Sacred Groves: Or, How a Cemetery Saved My Soul is a singular odyssey, a spiritual journey that takes you through the maddening halls of academia and into the surprisingly healing graveyards of Ohio. With elegant prose, Davies crafts a beautiful memoir about diving into pain and coming out whole.” ~ Marcy Dermansky, author of The Red Car and Very Nice

“In search of angels, Kathleen Davies describes her evolution from the contempt she experienced in the secular groves of academe to the exultation she found in the sacred groves of a cemetery. We need voices like hers to assess the current state of the humanities. Even though I don’t remember making graduate students cry, I am proud to be a character in her book.” ~ Susan Gubar, author most recently of Late-Life Love

“While experiencing ‘death’ in academia, Kathleen Davies finds herself inexplicably drawn to Victorian cemeteries. There she discovers the beauty of nature, images of female power, words that touch her heart, and at last, the buried child, herself. Her story of descent and return will open a way for others.” ~ Carol P. Christ, author of Goddess and God in the World and A Serpentine Path

In Sacred Groves, Kathleen Davies turns a disappointing life event into a spiritual journey. An intriguing book by a creative writer and artist. ~ Maureen Murdock, author of The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness