Synopsis from Good Reads:
“Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.
They have almost no money for food or shelter and must carry only the essentials for survival on their backs as they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.”
I was instantly intrigued after reading the premise of this book online. I love the coast and inspiring stories so this book was perfect for me. The cover is gorgeous (designed by Angela Harding) you could frame that image and put it on your wall. I was fortunate to find this signed edition in a bookshop in Padstow whilst on holiday in Cornwall, I had to buy it! When I started reading I knew it was going to be one of those books I would not be able to stop.
It’s a sad story but it’s also inspiring reading about Raynor and Moth who despite losing their home and finding out that Moth has a terminal illness they get up and carry on. They go through so much and it’s a pleasure to read their true story and share it with them.
The style of the writing is breathtaking, it made me feel like I was right there by the coast, my favourite place to be, listening to those annoying gulls and breathing in that gorgeous sea air.
This book is about “coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world,” but I feel that there are a lot of life lessons too:
This book reminds us of the importance of appreciating the world around us, many people go through life never appreciating it:
“However cosy ‘He’ was in the big house he didn’t have this, he couldn’t hear the beat of an owl’s wing through the oak branches, or the scratch of his talons against the bark of a beech tree. He wasn’t breathing the sweet scent of nettles or the sharp tang of gorse as he put his head on a pillow.”
This book reminded me of our connection with the world around us and the healing powers it gives us, walking outside and allowing our minds to stop is something we can all enjoy. Reading this book is as restorative as walking along a coastal path, I’d love to do something amazing like that but I probably never will and have the utmost respect and awe for those who do.
“I could feel the sky, the earth, the water and revel in being part of the elements without a chasm of pain opening at the thought of the loss of our place within it. I was a part of the whole. I didn’t need to own a patch of land to make that so. I could stand in the wind and I was the wind, the rain, the sea; it was all me, and I was nothing within it. The core of me wasn’t lost. Translucent, elusive, but theere and growing stronger with every headland.”
There were so many parts of this book that I wanted to quote, but I was so absorbed I forgot to made a note of them all. One day I will reread this book! No matter how I write this review I know it won’t do justice to the honest story and great writing. I tried so hard to convey how I feel but I am falling short.
I will be looking out for future books by Raynor Winn.
You can read an extract of this book here
Have you read this book? Share your thoughts and link to your review in the comments 🙂