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The Outrun, by Amy Liptrot

Every day until Christmas Eve, a member of Suffolk Libraries staff will reveal a book, CD or DVD they will be giving as a Christmas present, and why. Today, stock and content manager Paul Howarth recommends The Outrun, by Amy Liptrot.

The Outrun

At the age of 30, Amy Liptrot returns to her native Orkney, trying to come to terms with the addiction that has swallowed the last decade of her life.

To describe The Outrun as a moving account of the restorative, healing power of nature probably makes it sound cosier and more simplistic than that it really is. Ultimately it is an uplifting read, but it doesn’t shy away from the dark. Neither does it paint an idealised picture of life in the natural, social and emotional landscapes of Orkney; this is a place not without its own ghosts and history.

As a reader your response to Amy will likely swing between sympathy and frustration – sometimes both at the same time – but never do you doubt her honesty or bravery.

To call it 'nature writing' is perhaps to over-simplify; this is a book about growing up, coming to terms with the lot you’ve been dealt and trying find where you belong.