About the book
When Christopher Rush's wife died suddenly of cancer, leaving him with two young children, his world fell apart. He not only stopped writing, he also lost faith in everything that had informed his existence: literature, the arts, his role as teacher, his love of nature, the society of friends. Nothing could cure his almost suicidal depression. At last he decided to try to reclaim his sanity in the least expected of ways. A confirmed non-traveller, he went to France, bought a donkey and disappeared into the mountains of the Cevennes. Like a fellow Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, who had made the same journey over a century before, he hoped to find a new reason to live. To Travel Hopefully is a memoir of grief and recovery, expressed in an intensely private but universal language, which records a compelling journey of the spirit from defeat to victory. Anyone who has had to confront bereavement will find in these pages an understanding, experience and expression of the human predicament which go far beyond mere sympathy.
The most remarkable book I've ever read ... about the thing which you hope isn't going to happen.
A brave, emotional and disturbing tale, exploring various circles of hell amd finally achieving a moving sense of personal redemption.
Stunningly beautiful and moving writing ... The journey described drives the reader through the intensity of loss and grief, sheer emptiness, stumbling recovery and spellbinding recreation of self ... Reading it fills me with a sense of gratitude and privilege.
Rush has succeeded ... in universalizing a private grief, till it encompasses all we have ever felt - a road mapthrough illness, bereavement and what lies beyond. No one who can actually read should be without it.
It reads as it is written, like an inspired Mozartian requiem, beautiful and terrible, wonderful and awful. It will move the hardest of hearts to tears.