I have never done this before but I am going to get the front cover of this book framed.
It’s not because it is a beautiful front cover.
It’s not because Angela Harding’s prints cost an arm and a leg.
I am going to get the front cover of this book framed because The Salt Path was an inspiring read with a simple of message of hope that really resonated with me.
This book reminded me of so many important life messages:
- Even in the face of unfathomable adversity, we can eke out a satisfying existence.
- Even when the odds seem insurmountable, we can find a sense of purpose.
- Even when those around you seem not to care, love really does conquer all.
I just loved it from start to finish. Read my full review below.
Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. 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.
Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, 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.
This story spoke to me for many reasons. Like the author, I too love the outdoors, walking and the seaside. Like the author, I also have gone through tough times in my life. But unlike the author, I have never had to use everything that I have ever learned to survive in the face of extreme adversity. I would hope that if I ever have to, I will do so with at least half of the courage that the author and her husband display in The Salt Path.
It would have been very easy for Raynor Winn to write a different kind of book here. She could have wrote half of it about the court case that lost her beloved home. She could have spent much more words and time complaining about everything that went wrong. She could have even worried endlessly about the future ahead. Instead, she admirably treats us to a remarkably well written memoir about life on the South West Coastal Path.
The writing in this book is so good that you can almost taste the salt in the air around you as you read it. You can feel the sea breeze against your face. You can faintly hear the sounds of seagulls and crashing waves.
At times the romantic love affair of the land and sea is punctuated by searingly honest moments of fear and doubt. There are further setbacks. Money is a constant issue. Moth’s health is a constant worry. Also, while our brave walkers meet many nice people on their travels, there are also far too many not-so-nice individuals along the way.
Reading this book was a form of escapism on many levels. Like any good book, I momentarily forgot the stresses and troubles of my own life as I read it. It inspired me to drop everything and just head out into the wilderness. (I ended up camping in the back garden!!)
By reading this book, I was reminded of all the unnecessary worries that take up my time. While I adore reading about Stoicism and Philosophy, this is the first practical book that I have read on using it in the face of real life adversity.
My biggest regret is only that I cannot express more love and respect for this book in my own words. Even my best efforts fall short. Please buy it, read it and share with your friends. Maybe you too might even consider framing the cover to remember the incredibly inspiring story within.
- To read a lovely extract of The Salt Path, click here.
- To read a newspaper article about Ray and Moth’s journey, click here.
- Finally, this book reminded me very much of an equalling inspiring read that I reviewed last year, ‘I Found My Tribe’ by Ruth Fitzmaurice. Interestingly, this book also has very strong links to the sea. If want to read something similar, I can’t recommend this book highly enough.