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The Salt Path

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  5,685 ratings  ·  670 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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Jo I went to a literature festival last week to hear Raynor Winn. Moth was sat in the front row! He looked well; walked in with a bit of difficulty but…moreI went to a literature festival last week to hear Raynor Winn. Moth was sat in the front row! He looked well; walked in with a bit of difficulty but no assistance. They are planning an overseas walk.(less)

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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,685 ratings  ·  670 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019, 5000-2019
A very different spin on those we think of as homeless, because these two people did everything right, and lost everything. Added to this they find out Moth, Raynors husband has a degenerative disease. How much can two people handle? With very little money, with no where to go except sleeping on friends couches for the foreseeable future, they decide to walk. Taking only the necessities, they decide to walk the South West coastal path, 630 miles.

So this then is their story of this trip, and the
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
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019
I am not normally a fan of the memoir in general, but this one was pretty good. It had a lot of interest for me in its setting as I spent many childhood holidays in Cornwall and Devon and have family in Poole. So everywhere Ray and Moth went I could visualise the sights and sounds and the beautiful scenery.

When I read memoirs I often wonder how the other people in the book feel about having their problems and their lives exposed to the rest of the world - or to the ones who read the book anyway.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
A middle-aged couple in the UK, facing bankruptcy and a terminal illness diagnosis, decides to take off and walk the South West Coast Path in the United Kingdom, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. Most identity crisis take-a-walk memoirs are from younger, healthier people who still struggle physically, emotionally, and financially, but all of those elements are worse here. They are frequently mistaken for vagrants, asked to leave, and sometimes given food for free (and they really ...more
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
Oct 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: borrowed, 2018
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 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
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
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
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.
Lisa Wolf
I feel like I could just make a list of relevant adjectives and leave my review at that:






Not enough? Okay, here goes, with a bit more commentary.

In The Salt Path, author Raynor Winn shares the painful story of how she and her husband Moth lost their family farm after a lengthy legal battle stemming from an investment with a friend. While not all that much detail is given about the case itself, it sounds as though this long-term friend was fairly shad
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.
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
Liina Bachmann
May 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
This will be an unpopular opinion amongst the five-star reviews - I found the book extremely tedious and at points downright irritating. It was not emotionally engaging at all for me. Although it has all the elements why it should and could be: a middle age couple loses they're home and everything they have ever worked for and on top of that, the husband is diagnosed with a terminal illness. So they decide to walk for 630 miles on a coastal path. Somehow Raynor Wind managed to describe all this ...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
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm going to be a bit of an odd one out here. I was looking for forward to this. I know parts of the South West Coast path fairly well. It's a true story about folk who are having a pretty bad time. It should be good. Parts certainly were and I definitely enjoyed some of it. However other bits left me cold or worse. I found the author quite hard to like (though her husband seemed OK but this is not from his perspective). There were times when I felt she was enjoying her bad luck to too great an ...more
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
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
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
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
Michael Cayley
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel, biography
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
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
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels-set-in-uk
Memoir set along the 320 mile South West Coastal Path

The book opens as Raynor and her husband Moth are in court. A couple of years ago they invested heavily in a financial project at the behest of old childhood friend Cooper, but when the investment failed, they were deemed in part responsible for reparations. The court ruled they must leave their family home in Wales, which they had restored from a ruin. It is where their children grew up…. and there are fond memories of very happy times.

Vicki Antipodean Bookclub
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“A new season had crept into me, a softer season of acceptance. Burnt in by the sun, driven in by the storms. I could feel the sky, the earth, the water and revel in being part of the elements without a chasm of pain opening at the thought of the loss of our place within it all.”
Through a series of events outside of their control, Ray and Moth find themselves homeless and without the livelihood that they carved out from their Welsh farm. In the midst of losing their home, Moth is given a diag
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
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blimey, I did wonder what I was in for when I read the first few chapters - they lost their home, business, savings, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Then they had this barmy idea to walk the South West Coast Path! I rarely read books about walking, I find them very repetative and unless you're actually going to do that walk, dull. But this one I did find fascinating, enlightening, positive, all the stuff it says on the cover. And more so because they really were homeless, they really w ...more
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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.” 4 likes
“The lady set off, in search of summers long past, always just around the next corner. On a basic level, maybe all of us on the path were the same; perhaps we were all looking for something. Looking back, looking forward or just looking for something that was missing. Drawn to the edge, a strip of wilderness where we could be free to let the answers come, or not, to find a way of accepting life, our life, whatever that was. Were we searching this narrow margin between the land and the sea for another way of being, becoming edgelanders along the way. Stuck between one world and the next. Walking a thin line between tame and wild, lost and found, life and death. At the edge of existence.” 2 likes
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