When reading Number Woman it is easy to forget that this is a true story, the twists and turns of Hilary’s journey to discover her connection to St. Thomas A Becket and the places she visits have a ‘Dan Brown’ feel about them (especially when she visits the Vatican). She not only lives through numbers but when they guide her to distant places she uncovers all kinds of seemingly unconnected facts and only towards the end, like any good thriller, do we discover with her the true nature of her adventure.
Hilary uses numbers like we would use Google, when something is feeling a little strange she will look to see if there are any numerical signs to guide her. The fun thing is that the real Hilary is exactly like the one in the book, using numbers to connect events or information to great effect. Often she goes against her own thinking mind, bypassing the ego, to find herself living somewhere many of us would simply say ‘no, not there’.
When I first met her she was living in Watchet in Somerset where much of the action in the book takes place. At the time she had nearly finished her adventure but was still ready to leave at a moment’s notice if the numbers dictated. She had a feeling that she would be moving when she had been there 333 days – a number that crops up frequently in Number Woman (you will have to read the book to understand just how significant a number that is).
Another number that appears for Hilary is 11:11 and it was no surprise when she posted a Facebook picture showing the train timetable for the first train out of Watchet into Minehead, it departed at 11:11 every day. (interesting that now Hilary has moved from Watchet the train leaves at 11:14).
Recently I knew I had to contact her when just after I had the thought ‘I wonder what Hilary is doing’ I glanced at the clock and it was 11:11 – that meant, ‘give her a shout, something is up’. It just works that way.
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did, it has the pace of a good investigative thriller yet tells a real life adventure.
Read our interview with Hilary.
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