4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

In the late 1990s, Sarah Jane Douglas lost her mother to the horrid disease that is breast cancer. Sarah was only 24 at the time and she felt very alone in the world. Even though she felt live giving up, she had promised her mother that she wouldn’t give up and would keep going. The shock of having to deal with the grief pushed her towards drink and drugs, but thankfully it didn’t consume her.

Her mother had been a single parent, the man she was going to marry, Gerry had died when on an expedition in the Himalayas shortly before they were supposed to be married. Sarah became a single parent too, having a son to one guy and then a second son to another partner, but neither relationship worked out and she relied on the support of her grandparents to fill in the gaps in her family life.

What carried her the most though was the love for the hills and mountains of her native Scotland. She sought solace in these hills, and they repaid her many times over. With various friends and family members, she conquered Monroe’s, headed to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro and embarked on a trip to Nepal with her new partner to take some of her mothers ashes to be with the man that she never married. Each of these small and large challenges gave her the strength to face her own diagnosis two decades later.

Douglas is not the most lyrical of writers, she writes in a matter of fact way with an honesty about the trials and tribulations that she has overcome by herself and with the support of family and partners. She takes inspiration from being outside and this has helped her cope with her tough and sometimes painful life because of decisions that she has made and things that have happened to her, this still manages to be an uplifting book.

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