My book review of 'Landlines' by Raynor Winn

by Raynor Winn
by Raynor Winn

This is the third in a series of books which started with 'The Salt Path'. In that bestselling memoir, Raynor Winn recounted how she and her husband, Moth, decided to walk the South West Coast Path after the loss of their home and livelihood and with him having received the diagnosis of a terminal condition. That walk proved a life-saver for both of them and here she describes how Moth still needs to keep walking.

With Moth's health declining again, Raynor contemplates embarking on another epic walk. It has proved miraculous in the past, but she wonders if it will continue to offer respite from the relentless progress of his illness.

They both long for the isolation, wilderness and beauty of the natural environment, fending for themselves with their food and belongings on their backs. It has given them physical, mental and emotional renewal before, but they're getting older and Moth is becoming more ill. 

The decision is made to walk the Cape Wrath Trail which covers more than two hundred miles of Scotland's remote and mountainous landscape. But there's also a trek from Northumberland to the Yorkshire moors, Wales to the South West and back to the Coast Path - in total, a thousand-mile journey all the time wondering what their future has in store.

There's humour and resourcefulness in overcoming the weather, the characters they meet along the way and the terrain (thought there's a lot of time devoted to ill fitting boots and blisters!). And Raynor often worries about how Moth is coping and whether they will reach their destination(s). 

I find Raynor's writing quite compelling so couldn't put the book down, and once again it's an inspiring account of the restorative power of being close to nature, and to having a simple goal of getting from A to B. It's also got a beautiful cover, created by the printmaker Angela Harding

Review date: October 2022
Publication date: 15th September 2022