Non-Fiction Review: The Salt Path

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Publication Info:
Publisher’s Blurb:
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.

The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt, and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.
My Review:
As an aficionado of hiking memoirs, I had some expectations or assumptions about what a book like this would be, but I was not prepared for this one. For one thing, all the "wilderness hiking" aspects of, say, PCT narratives are out the window. England doesn't lend itself to wilderness of that sort. Yet in another way, this was exactly what those narratives are: a story about how walking every day with a pack on your back is transformative.

In some ways, the story is hard: these are not people who do this on a lark, but people at the very end of their rope, physically and financially, who are truly walking the path as homeless people. The story of how they lose everything is wrenching, and the "pre-grieving" Raynor does was at times terribly wrenching for me. But I was also inspired by the healing they got from their walk. In the end, it's a very hopeful story.

My Recommendation:
This is well worth reading. I'm now well into the sequel.

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed an electronic copy of  from my library, and received nothing from the author or the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”   

 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2022
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.

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  1. Yay! The follow worked :)
    This sounds interesting. I had a moment of madness, considering doing the coastal path in bits. But I don't think I'd really like to read this. Sounds too glum for my present mood.
    I have booked a holiday cottage just off the Dorset coastal path, though. In May :)

    1. Oddly, though there is a heartbreaking aspect to it, I was also inspired by the transformative aspect of walking all day, every day. It makes me want to do a long trail.


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