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The Salt Path

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,857 ratings  ·  250 reviews
Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. 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, via Devon and Cornwall.

They have almost no money for food or shelter and must carry
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 22nd 2018 by Michael Joseph
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4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,857 ratings  ·  250 reviews

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Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Penguin Books who provided an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.

This is an inspiring memoir written by Raynor Winn, wife of Moth Winn and mother of their adult children Rowan and Thomas. This utterly devoted married couple find themselves homeless at the age of fifty. They've spent their married lives restoring a farmhouse in the English countryside stone by stone, which they also parlayed into a family business. They have farm animals, a vegetable garden, and the ability to share
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my favourite non fiction novel because it's about a mid age couple who tell a true story. It made me cry for them loosing everything that they had worked for all their lives. It also made me cry of how little money they had to buy something to eat on their journey walking to Cornwall. Raynor and Moth had lost their home and their business. The bailiffs came in and took everything that they owned. They have almost no money for food or shelter. With little money they did have they buy a te ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
After a few pages into the book I googled the author. I had missed before that this is a non-fiction book, a kind of memoir. I thought it was a novel at first because Raynor Winn writes very well.
The decisions she and her husband made after having lost nearly everything in their lives are so far beyond how I would react that it makes interesting reading on the one hand and annoying on the other. They run away from one set of problems to encounter another. The struggle is painful and I admire the
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When this book first caught my eye I picked it up and but it down again, because I thought that the story it had to tell might pull me down at a time when I needed to be lifted up; but a warm recommendation and the news that the author would be appearing at my local literary festival sent me back to the bookshop to buy a copy.

It was a wonderful investment!

A story of people who had more than their fair share of trial, but who fought back by realising what was important in life and living their li
The bad news came fast, Raynor Winn's husband had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness, they had just lost a court case even though they had the evidence that they were not liable for debts and now the bailiffs were hammering on the door to take their farm and livelihood away. Their only income would be £48 per week. It is at times like these that some people would have a breakdown or consider a more permanent end to the problems, they didn't; inspired by the book 500 Mile Walkies by Mark ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book that made me think about what’s really important to me and what matters in my world. Moth and Raynor find themselves homeless, and then things get even worse when Moth is diagnosed with a terminal illness. With nothing else to do, and no where else to go they walk the South West Coastal path. The bravery and sheer determination the couple have is breathtaking. I really enjoyed it and recommend it highly. It’s made me grateful for my home and my bed, and of course my health. The ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2018-reads
This is a memoir, following a middle aged couple, Ray and Moth, as they lose their family home in a complex legal battle and Moth receives the devastating diagnosis of a terminal illness. With not much left to lose, they embark upon a 630 mile backpacking adventure along the South West Coast Path, with only the barest of essentials and minimal money.
This book was absolutely stunning, deeply personal and highly emotional. I was in tears from the first couple of pages. The author's writing is sub
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was the worst of times. Just after Winn learned that her husband Moth had CBD, a rare degenerative brain disease, they lost a court case pertaining to their investment in a friend’s failed business; bailiffs seized their house to pay off the debt. They’d relied on renting out their barn as a holiday cottage, so in one fell swoop their home and livelihood were gone. For two fifty-somethings, one of them terminally ill, the decision to buy minimal supplies and walk England’s South West Coast Pa ...more
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book. I’d heard so many amazing things about it. But I struggled. I don’t want to leave an unkind review so I’ll say — some of the nature writing is beautiful. I just didn’t get on at all with the internal commentary.
Diane S ☔
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thoughts soon.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018, borrowed
I really wanted to like this book. The story has the potential to be a life-affirming, heart-warming work and I love walking but I just couldn't get on with the style which, for me, was flat and monotonous and the tale itself was repetitive and overlong in many areas. I felt it needed harsher editing to pare what is a fascinating story down to its core but there was so much repetition that I lost interest. It did pick up a little towards the end but by then I was just waiting for the book to end ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aty-2019
"Winn and her husband Moth, who is diagnosed with a terminal illness become homeless after a bad investment and decide to walk the the Cornish coastline."

It sounds horribly depressing, but it's really rather empowering as she is given the gift of time and travel to take measure of her life and what's important. There's introspection and connections with nature and people, sometimes humorously described, but always human. And since this is a journey I can't imagine ever taking, Winn allows me to
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me this is another 'H is for Hawk': a profoundly moving, deeply personal account of a year and a bit in the life of Raynor Winn as she and her terminally ill husband walk the South West Coast Path after losing their home and most of their money.

As someone who used to love taking long walks, but now cannot because of an inoperable knee injury, I took great pleasure in reading this book. It made me laugh and made me cry, but it also gave me hope.

I received an e-ARC of this book from Net Galley
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-bio
This is the true story of a middle-aged couple, Moth and Ray, who due to a badly handled court case suddenly find themselves homeless, having lost their home and livelihood; and if it wasn’t enough, there are further bad news: Moth is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Contrary to medical advice, they embark on a 630 miles journey on foot, wild camping along the South West Coast Path. They have forty-eight pounds a week in tax credits, sometimes even less, to live on, not enough to afford accomm
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Een ongeluk komt nooit alleen: wat ik als ongeloofwaardig zou bestempelen in fictie, gebeurt soms gewoon echt in het echte leven. Knap hoe Ray en Moth na wat ze meegemaakt hebben (en met zijn fysieke conditie) deze tocht aanvatten en niet na twee dagen terug opgeven (wat ik dus waarschijnlijk wel zou gedaan hebben).
Ray beschikt over een vlotte pen, en wat ze aanhaalt over daklozen in de UK is interessant. Daarnaast zijn sommige ontmoetingen echt bijzonder: dat maakt dit boek de moeite waard.
Disappointing. Too much self-pity for my liking. A great idea and a good choice for the situation, but i just couldn't identify with the people.
Lydia Bailey
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was initially disappointed that this book wasn’t fiction. The blurb does lead you to believe it is. It is, however, very well written & extremely interesting. An autobiographical tale of a married couple in their fifties who, after a series of devastating blows, decide to walk the entire south west path (650 miles) because, really, they ‘had nothing better to do.’

In so doing, with hardly any money & therefore wild camping & living off fudge bars & noodles, they find answers to
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My thanks to Penguin for picking my name out of the hat for their giveaway!

I have to admit to putting the book down for a time because the first 19 pages I read had ripped my heart out. I sobbed as I read them. In one fell swoop, this couple lost everything. Raynor Winn and her husband Moth lost their home, their livelihood, and their savings. As if that weren't soul-destroying enough, then Moth was diagnosed with a terminal illness. (It's even more heartbreaking than what I have written but I
Renee Godding
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Either 3.5 or 4 stars. Not quite sure yet.
Review to come
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Checked this out solely on the cover, but was instantly drawn in, totally unaware this was a memoir. A powerful and eye opening experience, it really makes me think twice about those you pass in daily life. Surprised at their reaction from others when they shared their truth, I realized I too would be taken a back and feel just as awkward and want to move along, but if they had shared their whole story I think the outcome may have been different. I do know I want to know more, I hope their is a ...more
I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers/author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Salt Path is a non-fiction novel about how Raynor Winn and her husband Moth lose their home and pretty much the entirety of their income and with nowhere to go, decide to start walking the South West Coast Path.

This should have been a refreshing but emotional read for me but unfortunately it just completely fell flat for me. I’m not sure if it was that I was just not in the
Beth Bonini
This profoundly satisfying memoir/travelogue could be lodged under more than one category or genre on the bookshelf. It’s an adventure story: in which a middle-aged couple attempt to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path, camping ‘wild’ all the way. It’s a survival story: in which the elements, hunger, destitution and a frightening medical diagnosis all feature. It’s a story of social awareness: in which middle-class home owners can lose everything and discover that the various safety nets (le ...more
J.A. Ironside
After a 3.5 yr court battle, Ray and ger husband, Moth, lose their farm, their home, their livelihood and a lot of their confodence and self respect. Two days later they find put that Moth is slowly dying of a degenerative brain disease. So they decide to buy a tent and walk the 636 miles of the South West Coastal path.

It sounds like it should be a bleak book. It's not. It has to be one if the most uplifting hopeful memoirs I've ever read. And it is a journey if healing too, learning to rely on
Michael Cayley
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, travel
What do you do when you are in late middle age, your husband has a painful terminal incurable illness, and you lose your home and the farm that is your livelihood?

Raynor Winn and her husband Moth decide not to give in. They walk the 630 mile SW coast path, which runs from Somerset to Dorset via Devon and Cornwall, and is one of the toughest walks in the UK. Not just that, but they sleep rough, subsisting on next to no money.

This book is an inspiration, full of some beautiful descriptions of natu
James Hocking
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5. Such an uplifting story of courage and determination, made even better if you live in the South West. Some inciteful discussion around homelessness in this country too. It makes me want to walk.
Emily Fordham
Raynor and her husband, Moth, found themselves homeless the same week they found out Moth had a terminal illness. What do you do after that? Well if you are the Winn’s you decide to pack up two rucksacks and attempt to walk/wild camp the whole South West Coast Path; all 630 miles of it! Reminiscent of Wild (Cheryl Strayed) with it’s own English stamp, this is ultimately an uplifting tale of hope when all seems lost. I found it a slow read but not in a bad way... rather I felt like I was savourin ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The premise of this memoir was irresistible, and for once a bestseller has lived up to its hype. The story of a couple who found themselves homeless and decided to walk England's South West Coast Path, because why not? As they explained to people who asked, they had nothing else to do. They couldn't get a private rental because of the circumstances that had tipped them into homelessness (a court case that they fought to the bitter end and lost on a procedural point juuuuust as they found the pro ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a book. A real life affirming tale. I read it in three and a half days. I just couldn't put it down.
I am Cornish born and bred and come not far from where Raynor Winn has eventually found herself living! So I loved reading about the intoxicating South West Coast, especially the o-so-familiar Cornish sections, having walked a lot of the Cornish coast path myself in my younger years and also felt the pain of long distance walking having done a few routes across the UK.
I too read 500 Mil
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
One less-than-delectable duty of a Waterstones employee is to sell our four books of the month. Each month the Waterstones gods pick one fiction, one thriller, one nonfiction and one children’s book, and furiously promote them in the hope of securing better profit margins with publishers.

Some shops aren’t really too fussed about Books of the Month. Some are. It really depends on how keen your manager is. Unfortunately, my manager is a fanatic.

Therefore selling these books is a priority: so much
Zoe Hall
Wow! Where do you even start with this book? I picked this book up because the theme for this month’s Penguin Read the Year challenge is about travelling (anywhere!). I absolutely love camping. I abolsutely love the South West. I absolutely love walking. This book seemed like a win-win.

I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I have. A heartwarming, life-affirming and honest story about love, life and nature. A beautiful book, beautifully written, set in a beautiful environment. I would
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  • How to Climb Mt. Blanc in a Skirt: A Handbook for the Lady Adventurer
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After walking the South West Coast Path, Raynor Winn became a long distance walker and now writes about nature, homelessness and wild camping. She lives in Cornwall.

Follow Raynor on Twitter @raynor_winn
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“If we hadn’t done this there’d always have been things we wouldn't have known, a part of ourselves we wouldn't have found, resilience we didn't know we had.” 3 likes
“Most people go through their whole lives without answering their own questions: What am I, what do I have within me? The big stuff. What a waste.” 1 likes
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