TITLE: THE WILD SILENCE
AUTHOR: RAYNOR WYNN
PUBLISHER: PENGUIN UK MICHAEL JOSEPH
PUBLICATION DATE: 10.09.20
“Nature holds the answers for Raynor and her husband Moth. After walking 630 homeless miles along The Salt Path, living on the windswept and wild English coastline; the cliffs, the sky and the chalky earth now feel like their home.
Moth has a terminal diagnosis, but against all medical odds, he seems revitalized in nature. Together on the wild coastal path, with their feet firmly rooted outdoors, they discover that anything is possible.
Now, life beyond The Salt Path awaits and they come back to four walls, but the sense of home is illusive and returning to normality is proving difficult – until an incredible gesture by someone who reads their story changes everything.
A chance to breathe life back into a beautiful farmhouse nestled deep in the Cornish hills; rewilding the land and returning nature to its hedgerows becomes their saving grace and their new path to follow.
The Wild Silence is a story of hope triumphing over despair, of lifelong love prevailing over everything. It is a luminous account of the human spirit’s instinctive connection to nature, and how vital it is for us all.”
I have read Raynor Wynn’s The Salt Path and really enjoyed it so I was looking forward to reading her subsequent book.
The Salt Path is very much a journal, a style which I always like and The Wild Silence is more of a memoir, giving the story before the Salt Path walk, the reason for writing it down (which is so moving) and continuing after it; so although there is another epic walk towards the end of the book, it is not the focus.
Wynn’s writing style is fast to read and flows with ease. She writes with enthusiasm, passion, conviction and total honesty; and boy does she know her stuff! Some of the writing is so descriptive that I was there, in a field, on a cliff, in a river, beside a glacier. I could smell the rain and feel the grass.
Theirs is an interesting tale. Ray and Moth have led a far from ordinary life but the main theme of this book is the importance of a connection with nature and the effect this has on all aspects of our lives, in this case, particularly on Moth’s physical health, leading to him “sidestepping” the degenerative disease from which he suffers.
I suspect writing at this level can be a beneficial connection itself, yet I have to confess, there is so much detail that I speed read some of it.
The relationship between Ray and Moth is beautiful and being allowed to know their full story is something of a privilege. But for me, the relentless repetition of the importance of connection became tedious. Over and over again, even within the same paragraph, Wynn repeats it. I was beginning to say, sometimes out loud, “OK…I get it!”
All that said, this is a tale of faith, trust and love, written with pathos and, in places, sheer brilliance.
Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin/Michael Joseph UK for the Advanced Reader Copy of the book, which I have voluntarily reviewed.
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