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The Salt Path

by Raynor Winn

Biography / Autobiography Books of the Month The Real World

LoveReading View on The Salt Path

Simple, stunning, provocative, loved it! Author Raynor Winn has written about her own journey around the South West Coastal Path with her husband Moth. The synopsis sounds heartbreaking, it is heartbreaking, yet this is one of the most positive and hopeful memoirs I have read. After a three year trial Moth and Raynor lose their home and livelihood then within days Moth is informed he is terminally ill. Hiding under the stairs with the bailiffs at the door Raymor and Moth decide to wild walk the coastal path around the south west of England. The Salt Path was shortlisted for the 2018 Costa Biography Award and the hardback was a Times Top 10 bestseller, all deservedly so. The prologue captures a moment on the journey, a moment of wonder, of joy, of realisation and I just knew I was going to fall in love with this tale. Raynor Winn writes her own story with such positivity, she puts everything in, opens the door and lays her life bare. Raynor allowed me to see that this so could so easily be my situation, encouraged me to think, ponder, contemplate, I felt wonder at their determination and almost elated as I came to the end of the book. The Salt Path is an eye-opening, truly inspirational read and I’ve chosen it as one of my picks of the month. 

Liz Robinson

The Salt Path Synopsis

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. 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. 

The Salt Path Press Reviews

An inspirational true story - Top Sante

A thoughtful, lyrical story of homelessness, strength and endurance - The Week

Mesmerising. It is one of the most uplifting, inspiring books that I've ever read - i (The paper for today)

The Salt Path pummelled me like Atlantic winds. It carried me along on a rain-soaked, sun-burnt, despair-infused, hope-driven walk. The writing is at times raw, poetic, funny, shocking. It is consistently honest, vulnerable, clear. I finished the book reminded of the importance of really hearing people's stories, of the healing power of the natural world, and of our individual and collective now. - The Ecologist

A remarkable account of the healing power of landscape and the resilience of the human spirit. I felt the rain on my face and heard the waves pounding on the sand. -- Phillipa Ashley The Salt Path broke my heart and put it back together again over and over. Beautiful writing, and such a sharp eye - both for nature and for people. It's hopeful and sad and honest and I LOVED it. -- Maggie Harcourt, author of Unconventional and The Last Summer of Us This is a wonderful, heart-gladdening, life-affirming read. It will make you want to walk. What a gem. -- Kate Riordan, author of The Girl in the Photograph You lost me a whole night's work. This is a great read. -- Paddy Dillon A triumph of love and hope and giving oneself up to the healing power of nature. Beautifully written with vivid imagery, what a heart-warming and glorious read -- Ali Land, author of Good Me, Bad Me Ray's account of their incredible journey is a tale of triumph, of hope over despair - Pick of the paperbacks, The Sunday Times

Uplifting and inspirational - Woman & Home

What an absolutely glorious and moving book. It deserves all its praise! -- Vybarr Cregan-Reid, author of Footnotes and Primate Change A fabulous read, inspiring and life-affirming. If you're not already walking the coastal path, this book will make you want to set-off immediately. It is a hymn to the power of love, sear-air and the natural beauty of Cornwall to heal and nurture. It's an absolute joy - Cornwall Life

This beautiful, meditative book should give us all a sense of our possible braveries: offering us an answer to the what if? questions - what if we lost absolutely everything, what would we do? . . . An extraordinary testament to love, hope and resilience. -- Greg Wise, actor and co-author of Not That Kind of Love The most inspirational book of this year . . . In some ways The Salt Path reads like the ultimate drop-out odyssey, except that this journey isn't a life choice . . . What the book chiefly conveys is the human capacity for endurance and the regenerative power of nature . . . The Salt Path also serves as a reminder that Britain is a land criss-crossed by footpaths and that we take this 140,000-mile national glory for granted at our peril . . . The Salt Path has reminded me to scrape last year's mud from my walking boots and get rambling again. I hope it has the same impact on millions of others. -- Richard Morrison - The Times

A remarkable and redemptive journey -- Summer Books of 2018 - Financial Times

The Salt Path is a life-affirming tale of enduring love that smells of the sea and tastes of a rich life. With beautiful, immersive writing, it is a story heart-achingly and beautifully told. -- Jackie Morris, illustrator of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane An exquisite piece of writing - Western Morning News

An inspirational nature memoir for fans of H is for Hawk about losing everything and finding yourself between the elements of sea and sky - Waterstones

The landscape is magical, shape-shifting seas and smugglers' coves; myriad sea birds and mauve skies . . . It's a tale of triumph: of hope over despair; of love over everything . . . home was no longer about bricks and mortar. It was a state of mind - The Sunday Times

An astonishing narrative of two people dragging themselves from the depths of despair along some of the most dramatic landscapes in the country, looking for a solution to their problems and ultimately finding themselves. - Independent

A beautiful, thoughtful, lyrical story of homelessness, human strength and endurance - Guardian

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781405937764
Publication date: 19/04/2019
Publisher: Penguin
Format: Audiobook

ISBN: 9781405937184
Publication date: 31/01/2019
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780241349649
Publication date: 22/03/2018
Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781405937184
Publication date: 31st January 2019
Author: Raynor Winn
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 288 pages
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Books of the Month, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, The Real World,
Categories: Memoirs, Walking, hiking, trekking, Housing & homelessness, Coping with illness & specific conditions, True stories of heroism, endurance & survival,

About Raynor Winn

Winn and her husband Moth, who was diagnosed with a terminal illness became homeless after a bad investment and decided to walk the 630-mile (1,010 km) South West Coast Path. Since traveling the South West Coastal Path, Raynor Winn has become a regular long-distance walker and writes about nature, homelessness and wild camping. She lives in Cornwall. This is her first book.

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