Turning Blue by Benjamin Myers
(Moth publishing, paperback, 336 pages. Out now and available here.)
Review by Katharine Norbury
I ticked a few things off my literary bucket list this summer. I visited the grave of Sylvia Plath when I was staying at Lumb Bank, the house bought by Ted Hughes. Whilst there, I explored the leafy valley floor, poked around the old industrial installations, familiarised myself with the deep scars and quarried cliffs, the woods and the exquisite meadows planted by the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust to facilitate the passage of pollinators. A few weeks later, I began Wainwright’s coast-to-coast walk with my sixteen-year old daughter, striding purposefully from St Bees Head, again in the direction of the dales.
Thank goodness I hadn’t read Benjamin Myers’ Turning Blue before I set out or I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it. Because Turning Blue takes this once seen, never to be forgotten, iconic and literary landscape, which includes the coast-to-coast footpath, a landscape immortalized by Wainwright, Plath and Hughes, and makes it anew, turns it inside out, turns it thoroughly blue. Blue in the sense of sorrow, blue in the sense of porn, blue in the sense of rot, decay and death….
Read the full review at Caught By The River…
(Photo: The Phantom Claw by BM)