When faced with tremendous adversity, Ray and her husband Moth take an unusual path, literally. In a short span of time, they find themselves homeless and dealing with a terminal illness, and the way they deal with it is to walk, and keep walking. They embark on the epic 630 mile South West Coast Path, wild camping and living on less than $50 a week. Their journey is a joy to be taken on, an ode to human resilience, and a reminder of what’s important in life. I loved every minute of it!
Confronted with staggering loss, of house, of farm, and of health, Raynor Winn and her husband, Moth, fill rucksacks with enough provisions to reach the next town, and head out for a walk. As Winn recounts in her memoir, The Salt Path, the couple treads the country's Salt Coast Path's 630 miles, not for any sense of accomplishment, nor with a clear plan or any real direction beyond north. This is not a life-affirming journey. It is not about the Winns' self-awakening, or their overcoming tremendous odds. Rather, it is a kind of reevaluating self-worth, as England's economic iniquities brings others and entire communities to the same crises, so that along their route, the Winns are offered respite from and solace for their loss, with the awareness that their country's ideals are systematically being depleted.
"Polished, poignant... an inspiring story of true love."—Entertainment Weekly
A BEST BOOK OF 2019, NPR's Book Concierge SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BOOK AWARD OVER 400,000 COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
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.
About the Author
Raynor Winn lives in Cornwall. Since traveling the South West Coastal Path, she has become a regular long-distance walker and writes about nature, homelessness, and camping. This is her first book.
“The Salt Path is an unputdownable tale and a temple to equanimity… It will change you.”—Wall Street Journal
"Winn’s prose is powerful. She excels at description, and her apt metaphors are rooted in nature… an inspiring read, reminding us that there is salvation in nature, movement and the out-of-doors."—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Raynor Winn is a master of writing about nature and grief. The coast is the backbone of her memoir … a gripping story about a search for home, resilience and emotion, all the while in conversation with the sea.”—Guardian
“Winn writes with great humor, reflection and generosity.”—Salon
“This is a damn good book. Plain and simple.”—Medium
"This amazing tale of resilience…made me grateful for my loving family and how they make the journey—even when stressful—a whole lot easier.”—FIRST for Women
"Winn's chronicle is filled with beauty, humor and surprises. Glorious landscape a given, the loveliest scenery is the pair themselves, their affection and easy camaraderie treasures to behold. Facing grief, harsh elements, starvation and judgment about being homeless, they relish growing feelings of achievement and purpose. When, miraculously, Moth starts to feel better, their future grows more unclear. The Salt Path is a great travelogue of surroundings, passersby and local merchants, but its heart is in Winn and Moth finding meaning in the chaos."—Shelf Awareness
"Readers are immersed in a grueling and transformative adventure. Like the Winns, one feels 'salted' by the experience, however vicariously, drawn to the edge in defiance of fate and in search of a new life. They found it as well as a measure of acceptance, and their story is indelibly told."—Kirkus
"An astonishing narrative of two people dragging themselves from the depths of despair along some of the most dramatic landscapes in the country, looking for a solution to their problems and ultimately finding themselves."—Independent (UK)
"The Salt Path is a life-affirming tale of enduring love that smells of the sea and tastes of a rich life. With beautiful, immersive writing, it is a story heart-achingly and beautifully told."—Jackie Morris, illustrator of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane
"In some ways The Salt Path reads like the ultimate drop-out odyssey, except that this journey isn't a life choice . . . What the book chiefly conveys is the human capacity for endurance and the regenerative power of nature . . . The Salt Path has reminded me to scrape last year's mud from my walking boots and get rambling again. I hope it has the same impact on millions of others."—The Times (UK)
"A remarkable and redemptive journey."—Financial Times