Debbie Young – 4 stars
Roz Morris’s travel memoir focuses as much on the people she meets at the extraordinary places she and her trusty travelling companion, husband Dave, visit, usually off season and out of the way of mainstream tourist traffic. Intriguing properties owned by the Landmark Trust are frequent destinations, but interestingly the collection is anchored by poignant recollections of her childhood home after it has been demolished, coinciding with the disintegration of her family ties.
As you’d expect from a professional writing coach and author of several how-to books for writers, the language is meticulous and memorable, often poetic and unusual. I will long remember her fields stroked by the winds and corduroy ploughed fields.
As with any decent travelogue, there is a third subject revealed beyond the people and places encountered: the writer herself, and anyone familiar with her other books will enjoy the slow revelation of her determined, undauntable character, keen to make the most of any situation and opportunity. Her inner resourcefulness is best revealed in the chapter that features the shortest journey, from home to central London, where she signs up to take part in a video dance routine for an advertisement, performed at a major railway station, rehearsed at dead of night but filmed during rush hour.
Whether or not you come to this book with knowledge of Morris’s novels and handbooks for writers, this travel memoir is a quirky and engaging read that will make you pay better attention next time you pass an eccentric old building on the road less travelled.
Disclosure: I received a free ebook in return for an honest review.