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Skybound: A Journey In Flight

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In her mid-30s Rebecca Loncraine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two years later, and after months of gruelling treatment, she flew in a glider for the first time. In that engineless plane, soaring 3000 feet over the landscape of her childhood with only the rising thermals to take her higher and the birds to lead the way, she fell in love. If illness meant Rebecca had lo ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 19th 2018 by Picador
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(4.5) In 2016 it was When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi; in 2017 it was The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs. And now Skybound. Each year seems to bring one exquisite posthumous memoir about facing a death from cancer with dignity. For Rebecca Loncraine, after treatment for breast cancer in her early thirties, taking flying lessons in an unpowered glider was her way of rediscovering joy and experiencing freedom by facing her fears in the sky.

She was a freelance writer based on her parents’ farm
Elaine Aldred
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If Robert McFarlane and W G Sebald had gone up together in a glider, Skybound. A Journey in Flight, a lyrical recounting of glider flights and fascinating asides on flying and life, would have been the result. It is a glorious recounting of observing the landscape of the Black Mountains from the air, and anecdotes associated with flight, as well as a celebration of what it is to appreciate living, when its opposite looms in the not so distant future.
Rebecca Loncraine began writing this book as s
Hans Brienesse
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not a book about flying nor about fliers, not a book about a person "I did this, I did that!" But rather a book about the indomitable human spirit and dealing with adversity. The author after a major personal trauma faces one of her greater fears and embarks on a voyage of self discovery. The fears are relevant, the experiences are relevant, and the joy of life is also to the fore. Can we overcome life's battles? Pretty much so even if the outcomes are not what are desired. Having said that I fo ...more
Julian Walker
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Using the soaring highs of gliding as a metaphor for improving health and a zest for life, this is a hugely uplifting tale, which I mistakenly bought having misread the synopsis – I thought it was about flying a glider from Wales to New Zealand. And I am delighted to have discovered it as this is so much more of a read than a discovery for the love of un-powered flight and oneness with nature.

Beautifully written, and brimming with wonderful descriptions and optimism, this is a fabulous and life
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful and literally uplifting. Rebecca writes superbly about the process of gliding and its transformative power for her recovery. I loved the passage about her getting lost in the mountain in the fog. I was uplifted by her sheer joy at getting better and cartwheeling up the gliding field.
I was moved to tears sitting with her watching the birds at the feeder outside her window. Her father had placed it there for her to watch when that was all she was able to do.
Moving snd unspeakably sad.
Sheila Pritchard
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book! Such a beautifully woven tapestry of recovery from cancer, birds, flying, gliding, facing fear, inner awakening ... I hope in the moments of her death she began to feel lifted in the best flight ever. I live in New Zealand but I saw our mountainous country from a totally new perspective in Rebecca’s gliding experiences here.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, courageous, literally uplifting and fantastic to follow her journey as she discovers the joys of gliding and follows her passion all over the world. Very impressive woman and it’s so sad that she is ultimately defeated by circumstances.
Jessamy Beeson-Jones
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The passion and integrity in this unique and personal account of gliding took my breath away. I now can’t look at the sky in the same way without wondering what’s flying above - I would highly recommend this to anyone who’s ever dreamed of learning something new.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A journey in flight, courage and adversity. No bird soars on a calm wind. Rebecca’s way of dealing with her breast cancer diagnosis and illness.
Carmen Eicken
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A beautiful story, almost more like poetry! Rebecca was centered and very mindful, of nature and her surroundings. Now that I'm finished, I will miss her!
Kevin Sene
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aviation, travel
One of the best books I’ve read in recent years, Skybound describes a journey back from serious illness facing the author’s fears through another great challenge; that of learning to fly. With lyrical descriptions of gliding high above the mountains of Wales and New Zealand, and of her childhood upbringing on a hill farm in the Black Mountains, there is a wonderful attention to detail.
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