by Amy Liptrot
“I’m gradually learning to say things sober that other people wait to say drunk.”
Without a doubt, this book has been my favourite read of 2017. It was a Christmas gift from my Mother in 2016, and I am ashamed to say that it remained on the shelf for several months before I settled down to read it over a long weekend break in Barmouth Bay. I mention my whereabouts because The Outrun has at its heart the wild seas of the Orkney Islands, so the plaintive call of oystercatchers passing overhead merely added to my overall enjoyment of this remarkable book.
Amy Liptrot’s candid memoir is an exhilarating journey from the wild Scottish north of her upbringing to her sleazy, drunken, carousing years in London, by way of mental illness, romantic love and gradual addiction. However, Liptrot is no cry baby. She returns to her rugged homeland at her lowest ebb, and learns that it is possible to survive without alcohol as she listens for the mysterious nocturnal ‘boom’ of the corncrake and each morning plunges into the icy sea.
The Outrun will, I am sure, be recognised as a classic of the genre for generations to come.