I wrote before how I read The Salt Path by Raynor Winn in super quick time. It tells the tale of how the author and her husband Moss walked the South West Coast Path after being made homeless. The other day I was at the home of my mate Salty Dog and I saw that she had the sequel, The Wild Silence. She kindly let me borrow it before she read it herself. Now that’s friendship for you.
The account of another walk is described at the end of this book. It’s a shorter but nonetheless challenging trek through the volcanic landscape of Iceland. I got an attack of the wanderlust while reading it. I miss my long distance trekking days.
But the bulk of the story tells the tale of the couple’s life after they settled in Cornwall, first in Polruan, a picturesque seaside village on the coastpath where they’d originally walked. With the success Winn’s first book, their life became less of a financial struggle but there are other challenges. Moss’ health fluctuates during his time completing a university degree as a mature student. Ray spends time with her mother, dealingi with difficult memories and making agonising decisions at the end of her parent’s life. Breathing new life into an old dilapidated cider farm does not sound like an easy journey at all.
Moss has a degenerative neurological disease, Cortical Basal Degeneration (CBD) that causes problems with cognitive, speech and mobility. As in the Salt Path I found myself amazed at the restorative power of activity to improve his well-being and keep the illness at bay. It just shows that there is a lot more to the management of illness than pills and potions.
And I can’t mention The Wild Silence without drawing your attention to the beautiful lino print cover of ‘The Wild Silence’.. It seems to capture the essence of the Cornish coast. It’s another design by Angela Harding whose wonderful work drew me to the Salt Path in the first place.
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