MILES AWAY by Miles Morland


A Walk Across France
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 Warmhearted, lightly humorous, food-strewn story of the author's walking trip across France with his wife. As Morland crosses France from the Mediterranean through the foothills of the Pyrenees to the Atlantic, he acts as straight man to his droll wife, Guislaine, and their mild snipings and pleasantries come as relief to the actual walking trip, with its towpaths, wrong turns, canals, hills, flowers, bedrooms, blisters, and dogs. Dogs, Morland tells us, are the bane of European hikers, and he walks armed with a high-pitched siren to drive them off (though, to Guislaine's distress, the siren doesn't do its job). For all the walking, though, the real high points here are back in time--in London--as Morland gives us background about the job he quit (after a long Wall Street stint, he managed a First Boston stock brokerage in London), and about the highjinks and stresses of office politics that he no longer misses after 22 years of a daily grind. Morland's account will appeal to many now under similar stress--and he doesn't give the old job or whatever new one may lie ahead a passing thought while hiking. The 350-mile walk also becomes something of a welding together with Guislaine: The couple had divorced after 13 years of marriage (and had endured three years of misery before the divorce became final), then remarried. After the walking trip, the pair wrote a book about the trip, but it was a dud; Miles took another shot at it and wrote this. In its way, more charming than Peter Mayle, and certainly not to be missed if you plan a hike through southern France. (Map)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-679-42527-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1993