Original language:
Original title: The Salt Path. A memoir
Translation: Lucia Barahona
Year of publication: 2018
Valuation: Alright

I find it curious that a normally militant publisher like Captain Swing has not only incorporated that medal (International Best Seller) but also renounced its characteristic cover layout for this book. Also, since I only read the synopsis obliquely because my interest arose, I think, as a result of some comment on Instagram, I was surprised to read that it was not a novel but a personal chronicle of events that happened to the author. But this is already a small defect of my own, which I err on the side of haste since it must be carried out weekly and already, once the book is finished, subject it to an immediate judgement, almost without letting the embers of reading it cool, lest I become come out again lousy review.

To complete the precedents, this is a first work by an author who, it also seems to emerge from certain comments on the back cover and even from the acknowledgments, decided to publish her experience with certain intentions of professional recycling and obtained significant commercial success, which, without may even disconcert me, if it provokes a certain surprise, because although I may come to agree with a certain definition – “a story of hope” – reading it has not conveyed to me a direct intention of vindicating a specific vital attitude, other than the verification of adaptability to situations as a logical resource of any individual or, let’s be somewhat reductionist, animal species. Raynor and Moth, her husband with whom she has been married for decades, suffer a harsh twist of fate and a judge dispossesses them of their house, which they manage as a tourist residence. Suddenly they see themselves homeless, jobless, drowning in debt, aged difficult, past fifty, and with an additional circumstance: Moth, the husband, is diagnosed with a rare incurable neurological disorder that will not only cause pain that incapacitates him for a normal daily life but also a prospect of a short life span. They decide to travel the thousand and a few kilometers of the Cornish coast on foot with backpacks on their backs, dozing in a precarious tent where they can find space every night and subsisting on a meager weekly aid that they withdraw at the ATMs in the towns they visit. A question that generates my first suspicion, which I hope no one answers me furiously: do they have two children of university age and neither of them does anything to prevent their parents from carrying out such a difficult and uncertain adventure? In any case, it is a personal chronicle and no one says that everything has to be coherent and completely adhered to logic.

Because I understand that The salt trail It is interpreted in a doubly demanding key. Or even triple. The relentlessness of the judicial system towards people in fragile situations, on the one hand. Because they go from a dignified existence to destitution with almost no intermediate steps. The persistence of love as an element above all circumstances, when the couple decides to stay together against all odds.to difficulty, even against the medical warning that this pilgrimage along coastal paths, through inhospitable and wild places can harm the evolution of Moth’s disease. And the third, I’m sorry but it already gives off a certain whiff, what is described as “the regenerative power of nature”, an alibi that already arouses skepticism in me because not even this is Walden Nor does it count with the journalistic spirit of Chatwin or Krakauer. The adventure is forced and the couple goes through their vicissitudes in the midst of precariousness, difficult conditions, situations on the verge of indignity, it is not that the text reflects a constant complaint but a deceptive air of buddy movie as if the indigent or homeless population had a collective feeling of brotherhood or, even, in a country ravaged by classism like the United Kingdom, everyone was willing to help a couple of elderly people carrying heavy backpacks. I’m sorry, I didn’t believe this part, and at some point, since the most persistent part of the book is its extensive and detailed description of the places and landscapes that this thousand-kilometer path crosses, it seemed to me that those excessive three hundred pages were They lean almost more towards the travel guide or the promotional brochure than towards the testimony of the initiatory or almost cathartic experience (how superficial we are for wanting to sleep under cover every night) that the book, as a whole, attempts to represent.

Source: https://unlibroaldia.blogspot.com/2024/05/raynor-winn-el-sendero-de-la-sal.html

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