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The Outrun by Amy Liptrot: A Book Review

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

Whilst I have to admit I’m (as ever) late to the party on this beautiful memoir, it seemed a fitting pick for this our first issue, 'Invictus'. Some challenges in life can seem unconquerable, and Amy Liptrot’s memoir The Outrun explores the complexity of trying to overcome and move on from some of the most difficult challenges that can be experienced.

Spanning Liptrot’s life, from growing up in Orkney to her days in London and her homecoming, The Outrun never fails to be moving. The language truly captures the beauty and even the magic of living in a place like Orkney and being so close and so connected to the world around. Whilst she captures the complexity, subjectivity and often tenuous nature of recovering from addiction, this connection with nature is especially shown as healing. Liptrot draws on her experiences with nature; from collecting and discovering treasures on the beach, to tracking endangered birds, each encounter is a way of learning more not only about the world around her, but about herself as well.

Emotions and the natural world are tied together; the seasons, the tide and changes in weather all echoing the ebbs and flows of emotion, how a place once stifling welcomes you back and how to cope with emotions that seem impossible to recover from. Her prose echoes the landscape that forged her - both bold and dynamic, calm and introspective, The Outrun is a special kind of book.

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