The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
Publisher/Year: Penguin Randomhouse, 2018
Format: E-book (Libby)
Pages: 410
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


The true story of a couple who lost everything and embarked on a transformative journey walking the South West Coast Path in England.

Just days after Raynor Winn learns that Moth, her husband of thirty-two years, is terminally ill, their house and farm are taken away, along with 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, through 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 and life-affirming journey. Powerfully written and unflinchingly honest, The Salt Path is ultimately a portrayal of home–how it can be lost, rebuilt, and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.

What I thought

What a perfect book to read in 2020! In a year that has most of us feeling down & out, this was an immensely inspiring memoir that faces the question of how we go on when faced with the absolute worst outcome. Being a fan of nature writing is what brought me to this book, and Raynor’s and Moth’s unfathomable strength (and even humor) in facing despair is what kept me reading. I was alternately amazed and moved, and not just that, but also impressed that this wasn’t “just” a nature memoir–it offered a thought-provoking look at homelessness and grief in its many forms. Overall, I thought this was an excellent read, providing just the right amount of armchair travel and hope for this year.