Finding herself at a crossroads and in need of a change from her job and domestic responsibilities, Helen Moat set herself the challenge of a lifetime: she got on her bike and embarked on an epic cycle ride across Europe, all the way to Istanbul, accompanied by her eighteen-year-old son. They followed the great rivers to the edge of Asia, meeting along the way a beguiling cast of characters and a series of astonishing sights, providing ample time for reflection. Crossing a continent shaped by war and peace, peoples divided and reunited, Helen reflects on her own upbringing during Northern Ireland's Troubles. And the birds she spots along the way invoke the spirit of her father, his love of birds and the legacy of his religion and occasional melancholy. Helen's life-affirming journey proves to be both literal and metaphorical - and a celebration of humanity and all its quirky individualism.
Number of pages: 304
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
"Glorious ... an inspiring adventure ... humorous encounters and joyful times." Tom Chesshyre, Daily Mail; "Ideal reading for vicarious armchair travellers ... rich in emotional flashbacks and keen observations ... Moat is an exquisite stylist. Her unhurried, free-flowing narrative captivates the reader from the very first sentence ... a thoroughly unputdownable travel book." Vitali Vitaliev, Engineering & Technology Magazine;"A prayer of a book. A hymn to the healing power of cycling slow." Chris Dolan; "A stand-out work of honesty and integrity, loss and hope.' Alan Brown; 'A perfect read for these times of isolation ... a fantastic book." John Toal, BBC Radio Ulster; "This wonderful narrative of her epic mid-life trek across Europe with her son to Istanbul is harrowing and inspiring by rapid turns ... this pretty spectacular account of her childhood upbringing, 20 years after the Belfast Agreement, joins the small but potent library shelf of Brethren 'survivor diaries' on which sit such as Edmund Gosse's Father and Son and our own Max Wright's Told In Gath. Indispensable, heart-breaking, uplifting, beautifully-conceived and -written, Moat's contribution is of that standard." Damian Smyth, Arts Council of Northern Ireland; "There is more than one journey in this lovely, engrossing, book ... beautifully told, vivid in its colours and characters ... the prose twinkles and sparkles like birdsong ... a reminder of the healing power of nature, humanity and the active joy of slow, self-powered movement." Dead Deer blog