Reedbound: A Year on Ireland's Waterways by Giles Byford
Illustrated by Jill Parkinson
Life afloat suits some people, and with a business that's made living and working all over the English waterways possible, it suits Giles Byford and Jill Parkinson so well they feel blessed. Everything, from the odd circumstances of finding their first narrowboat to rejecting academia, seems to bring rewards; so they're not surprised that the same strange magic appears to be working its charm when they set about building Hawthorne, the barge they intend to spend the rest of their lives exploring Europe on. The future's promising and wonderful. And then, quite suddenly, everything falls apart.
Reedbound is largely about what follows. How the terrifying violence of crossing the Irish Sea becomes and act of faith that contrasts with a gentle westward wandering along an empty canal to the River Shannon. And how, over the year they spend exploring the Irish inland waterways, a philosophy of trusting all will be well and refusing to research beyond the barest minimum delivers adventure, unexpected spaces and the company of other misfits.
Ultimately Reedbound is a celebration of how the redemptive power of Ireland's landscape and culture re-establishes the couple's faith that they're looked after on the water.
Dimensions: W 160mm, H 240mm, D 19mm