'A soaring gift of a book' Owen Sheers
'Remarkable' Mark Vanhoenacker, author of Skyfaring
'Stunning . . . a love letter to nature' Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love
The day she flew in a glider for the first time, Rebecca Loncraine fell in love. Months of gruelling treatment for breast cancer meant she had lost touch with the world around her, but in that engineless plane, soaring 3,000 feet over the landscape of her childhood, with only the rising thermals to take her higher and the birds to lead the way, she felt ready to face life again.
And so Rebecca flew, travelling from her home in the Black Mountains of Wales to New Zealand's Southern Alps and the Nepalese Himalayas as she chased her new-found passion: her need to soar with the birds, to push herself to the boundary of her own fear.
Taking in the history of unpowered flight, and with extraordinary descriptions of flying in some of the world's most dangerous and dramatic locations, Skybound is a nature memoir with a unique perspective; it is about the land we know and the sky we know so little of, it is about memory and self-discovery.
Rebecca became ill again just as she was finishing Skybound, and she died in September 2016. Though her death is tragic, it does not change what Skybound is: a book full of hope. Deeply moving, thrilling and euphoric, Skybound is for anyone who has ever looked up and longed to take flight.
Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award 2018.
Rebecca Loncraine was a British freelance writer. She held a foundation diploma in Fine Art, a first class undergraduate degree in history, and a doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University. She is the author of The Real Wizard of Oz: The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum published by Gotham Books in 2009. Born in England, she grew up on a hill farm in the Black Mountains of Wales, and it was there she returned after her diagnosis of breast cancer. It is also where - after her recovery - she fell in love with glider flying. Rebecca began writing Skybound in response to her new passion and she was just finishing the new book when, in 2015, she became ill again. Rebecca died at home in Wales in September 2016.