Wild Silence – Raynor Winn

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I read The Salt Path and immediately bought Wild Silence, its sequal, sort of. I read Wild Silence in the same blow I had read The Salt Path.

I cried a little. I never cry reading books. But it was so good.

Raynor continues her story after a lucky finish of walking the coastal path, and finding a friend that could rent Winn and her husband a small house. Moth is studying at his old age but his disease seems to get hold of him now.

I closed the book, overwhelmed with the sadness of the thought that the day would come when Moth couldn’t remember what we did. The day when CBD had crept so far that the clear, magical, wild experience we’d shared was lost to him forever and I’d be left alone with the memory. The day when the guidebook would be the only record that our walk had ever happened. Where the hell was he?

As a last resort to retain their shared memories she decides to write the story of the coastal path. As a present for her husband.

‘What is this? Is this what you’ve been doing?’ ‘Yeah, I’ve been writing it for you.’ I felt shy and nervous, as if it was the first present I’d ever given him. ‘All that time and it was for me.’ ‘It’s the path, the book of our path. So you can always keep the memory.’

Even more than in The Salt Path itself, the detailed description of nature and surroundings Winn creates, remind me of the beautiful rigorous details that Tim Robinson uses in his books.

Following the coastal path down from the skylark fields, through the gorse, to the steep dip in the land where winter storms funnel high winds into a jet-powered blast of air, making it hard to stay on your feet.

The health of Moth, the shyness of Raynor, the death of her dominant mother, the development of a writer, her love for Moth, many threads run through the books, that could make the reading cheesy but that never happens.

Don’t ‘be careful on the stairs’, run up them, run as fast as you can, with no fear of clocks ticking or time passing. Nothing can be measured in time, only change, and change is always within our grasp, always simply a matter of choice. I closed my eyes and let the sounds come, let the voice come.

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