Come take a seat by the fire…

This a gentle and uplifting memoir. Sam intersperses the story of his life with his tales of traversing the West Highland Way. Each passage is fairly short and cleverly leaves you wanting more.

Sam is an actor, and the star of Outlander. Before reading I hadn’t seen any of his work (sorry, Sam!) but this didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment. It was interesting to hear about his path to success, with its many twists, turns and rejections along the way. Sam is open about the low points that contrast his highs, and the affect that growing up without a father has had on him. He finds many parallels with the twists and turns of his 96 mile walk. I enjoyed learning about the Highlands, and could relate to how liberating it is to walk alone and contemplate. In our busy lives, most of us give ourselves too few opportunities to stop and reflect.

Sam comes across as a humble, down to earth guy. As I finished reading I felt like I’d sat down with him for a series of cosy fireside chats. A comforting, unchallenging read.

More about the book:

In this journey of self-discovery, Sam Heughan sets out along the West Highland Way to explore his heritage and reflect on the personal waypoints that define him. The result is a love letter to the wild Scottish landscape that means so much to Sam, and a charming, funny, wise and searching insight to the world through his eyes.

The walk itself is the backdrop for this narrative, which tells the story of Sam’s life while exploring his outlook, values and interests. Sam is a figure of fascinating contrasts, a Hollywood star with deep roots in rural Scotland, he’s both outgoing and content in his own company. He has strong connections with his fans while recognising the fragility and value of anonymity. In this book, while charting a path through a stunning wilderness, Sam maps out the moments that shaped his views on dreams and ambition, family, friendships, love and life.

I was gifted this book in return for an honest review.

Hannah is the author of The Cactus Surgeon, a nature & health memoir. Living in London, Hannah suffered burnout and was diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder. With no information available to help her, she found her own way to get better.

Growing up in a garden centre, her childhood was full of nature and plants. This was in stark contrast to the concrete of the capital, where she became unwell. In searching for the answers to her illness, she wonders whether being torn from her pot and replanted in a more hostile environment was the reason her body started to malfunction. After seeking out alternative therapies, and moving to the countryside of North Essex, her ‘green recovery’ continued. It’s a book of mindful moments, savouring the small wonders of nature.

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