The Wild Silence

A sequel of sorts to The Salt Path, I read this book with such pleasure. The lives of the characters could not be more different to my own. Raynor and Moth are about my age and that’s it. They have been the sufferers of great misfortune, having been made homeless through no fault of their own; the way they dealt with one shock after another – the second and worst being that Moth is diagnosed with a life threatening and debilitating illness – is incredible. This is a true story of how they pick themselves up and put themselves back together again. The first book dealt with a six month wild camping walk along the Cornish coast and in this one they decide to battle against their demons and the elements by going to Iceland just as winter is beginning. They live in flimsy tents, walk by the help of thin poles and eat dried noodles for a fortnight. One of the funniest and most moving moments is when they realise that one fof the other walkers whom they encounter has brought dried oregano with him to make the dried and reconstituted mush they all seem to bring with them more palatable. Now, why didn’t they think of it before?
But this book is about a lot more than snippets of the hard grind of daily life when you have once lost everything and fear to trust anyone ever again. It is a lyrical love story of a couple who are so entwined with nature and its terrors (for me) and joys (for them.) Beautifully written, and so engrossing, at one point I almost felt I would like to spend some time in the wild. But maybe not. But I loved reading about it – even as I could feel the icy wind, and the cold of the creeks and the fug of the mountain huts.

4 comments on “The Wild Silence

  1. I read both these books recently and loved them although I think The Salt Path is slightly more heartfelt. Being older I can appreciate that we are all one payday or pension away from disaster.

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