Landlines by Raynor Winn

Our Rating
Author: Raynor Winn

Category: Biography & true stories, Lifestyle, sport & leisure, Society & social sciences

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780241484562

RRP: $39.99

By nature, we are ambulatory creatures. Our bodies are designed for movement. In an increasingly sedentary world, this is a story about walking. Walking long distances. Walking to heal.

Raynor’s husband, Moth, has corticobasal degeneration, an insidious disease with no cure. A disease which is difficult to determine, only diagnosed when everything else has been ruled out. Raynor convinces Moth to go on a long healing walk. Remarkably it has helped in the past, alleviating his condition, mitigating symptoms. However, Moth’s condition is worse than it has ever been. He is slowly losing his battle, his muscles growing weaker with each day. Eventually he will lose his speech, memory, and not be able to breathe.

This is the third book in a series, and while the reader may benefit from reading the first two memoirs, this book is enjoyable on its own.

As they traverse the path, they encounter other walkers, negotiate dangerous terrain, struggle with injuries and the will to continue their journey, many times teetering on the brink of giving up. While they trudge on, the reader is treated to Scottish history, geography, and anecdotes from their life, as they witness homelessness, climate crisis, and extinction.

This is a story about hardship and struggling against insurmountable odds, refusing to give in. But it is also about hope and there are many moments of humour that pop up, little lamps of laughter brightening a bleak path.

Winn does a wonderful job of taking the reader along with them. Her writing is crisp and vivid, bursting with Scottish imagery and landscapes.

Reviewed Neale Lucas

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