Review: Ghostways: Two Journeys in Unquiet Places

Ghostways: Two Journeys in Unquiet Places
by Robert Macfarlane

I loved this book. Ghostways is made up of two pieces, each evocative of a specific place, and both beautifully written. Both were previously available in the UK, and now newly available in the US.

The first piece "Ness", is a prose poem on a visit to Orford Ness, a spit of pebbled land adjacent to the Suffolk coast of England, used for many years as a military testing grounds.

The second, "Holloway" is a story about two visits to a path in Dorset (along England's south coast), a path (or "way"), well used for centuries and so sunk deep into the soft rock of the area to form what today is more like a tunnel, overgrown with bramble and almost hidden from view - a "holloway". On his first visit MacFarlane is accompanied by a friend who has died by the time of the second visit, and so the story can be seen as a journey into the memory of friendship.

The illustrations by Stanley Donwood fit the mood and the narrative of the first piece completely, and compliment the second.

MacFarlane has been called Britain's foremost living nature writer. In this short book, as in his book The Old Ways which I read last year, paths through nature bring understanding of both our humanness and of the natural world.

I rate this book 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - this book is fantastic - I think anyone looking to reconnect with nature from a pandemic (or winter) seclusion will enjoy Ghostways.

Ghostways  links

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