The Salt Path by Raynor Winn is incredible, inspiring and humbling. I am in awe of Raynor and I can’t wait to see her talk at the Jersey Festival of Words on Saturday 28th September.
The Salt Path By Raynor Winn
To put it simply – The Salt Path by Raynor Winn is a book that everyone should read. It’s the type of book that you will devour over a couple of days before handing over to friends and family imploring them to read it. The Salt Path has had a profound impact on me. An incredibly inspiring and uplifting read that infused me with hope and determination for taking on my own challenges.
I started reading The Salt Path with no real expectations. I was dealing with my cancer diagnosis and the chemotherapy had left me unable to concentrate on any of my novels. Anyone that knows me will know that I love to read and now I felt like my cancer had robbed me of that too. However, several friends had recommended The Salt Path. I started the book expecting it to be yet another book that I wouldn’t finish. I was wrong. From the beginning I was drawn into the story of Raynor and her husband, Moth. I loved how they triumphed over adversity.
The book starts with Raynor and Moth losing their family home. Their beloved Welsh farm that they had lovingly restored over several years. Their whole lives are embedded in the walls of the home and suddenly it is ripped away from them and they are made homeless. This is all thanks to an old family friend who had persuaded them to invest in a company. What they didn’t realise was that this contract made them liable for all debts. They are devastated when their home is taken away to help pay back the debts to creditors. This news on its own is enough to break the strongest of people but, on top of this, they are then told that Moth has a terminal illness and that he probably won’t last past two years.
Their lives are suddenly thrown into turmoil. There are now no guarantees: they have no stability. However, Raynor and Moth don’t make it easy for themselves either. They can’t bear the idea of dossing down with family or friends so they decide that now is the time to walk the South West Coastal Path. No mean feat for anyone, let alone someone like Moth who is hardly flushed with health. He has a rare degenerative brain disease and his condition means that just moving a couple of steps can sometimes be incredibly painful.
Cheering Them On
You become fully immersed in their progress along the incredibly beautiful but also brutal coastal path, cheering and crying for them on the same page. Most people wouldn’t have been able to cope with the harsh extremities but they keep battling onwards. Walking the path gives them a purpose.
At the heart of this book is the love story between Moth and Ray. Their love for each other seems to give them the strength they need to continue walking into the unknown. Their enduring love is the reason they are able to find the courage to continue to put one foot in front of the other. They have little money. They walk on empty stomachs and wild camp in desolate places. A good day is when they can scrape together enough pennies for food.
The Kindness Of Strangers
Another important strand of this tale is the kindness of strangers. Along the way they meet people whose simple actions help make their life more bearable. It’s a reminder of how a kind act really can change someone’s life for the better. However, they also find themselves judged by some people when they learn that Raynor and Moth are homeless.
I might have read this book quickly but it will be a book that I return to. The pages of this memoir should not be turned quickly; it’s one to savour. After all, this is a book that’s not about the destination but it’s about the journey and lessons learnt along the way.
An Inspiring Read
An uplifting and gentle book, full of humour that leaves you feeling refreshed and inspired. It’s like meeting up with an old treasured friend. You won’t want them to leave and you will look forward to when you can meet up again.
Raynor will be speaking at the Jersey Festival of Words, On Saturday 28th September at 11am. Tickets cost just £8 and you can book them online from the Jersey Arts Centre