Many of us have dreamt of returning to nature and escaping the humdrum of city living, for Rebecca Schiller and her family this became a reality, taking up a smallholding away from the rush of the never-ending rat race that has taken over our lives. In Earthed Rebecca Schiller has given us an incredibly personal and revealing memoir that not only shows the not-so-good life but also her personal battles with health over a long year.
Earthed is one of those books that I started reading with no idea where the book would lead, I was expecting a memoir of family life with everyone tilling the fields and reaping the harvest, I was not expecting a very personal account of the author’s personal health issues and how they affected this almost dream-come-true lifestyle so many of us crave. However, revealing and enlightening would be an incredible understatement to Schiller’s achievements, not just in her own life, but detailing this so succinctly in Earthed.
With this in mind, Earthed is a book that often flits between memoir, personal history and history of the women who’d lived on and around the land in time past, this can be confusing, but on a personal level I found it intriguing to see how the mind of someone with ADHD thinks, and as someone recently diagnosed with Autism (and written on my own health issues many times) it’s an aspect I found very refreshing, and written in, not just an entertaining manner but an openly honest and heartfelt way that even readers with no knowledge of such things would easily empathise.
I’m sure some may find some of the subject matters difficult to read, but Earthed stands as a love letter to the land and people the author loves whilst enduring her own personal crisis. Rebecca Schiller’s achievement in Earthed is not just displaying her soul to the world, but giving inspiration to others that it’s ok to do so.
- Earthed by Rebecca Schiller is published by Elliott and Thompson (£14.99). To order a copy go to eandtbooks.com
Founder and Editor of Pilgrim House, currently undertaking a research degree at Bangor University and working on a book on Folklore and early Welsh Christianity. Tom’s other work on music, poetry, health along other writings and images can be found at tomasstanger.com