The Long Walk Home


In a life lived long enough, there are strange symmetries that we recognize only later, if we recognize them at all—moments when an experience or a perception has a parallel moment in another time, a balancing echo, years in the future, or perhaps years in the past, a moment when it feels as if a circle is closing, encompassing and completing something infinitely precious.

For Fiona Edwards, this is how the circle began: from the kitchen window of her award-winning farmhouse bed-and-breakfast in the mountains of North Wales one evening, Fiona sees a lanky backpacker striding up her lane. The man to whom she opens her door is middle aged, unshaven, sweat-soaked…and arrestingly handsome.

What neither of them knows at that moment is that their lives are about to change forever.

The backpacker is the American, Alec Hudson, and he has been walking all day. In fact, he’s been walking for nearly three weeks, all the way from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Alec is carrying the ashes—and the memory—of his late ex-wife, Gwynne, who, on her deathbed a year earlier asked him to scatter her remains atop a Welsh mountain they had climbed years before—the same brooding peak whose cliffs rise to the sky from the pastures behind Fiona’s farm. But the weather doesn’t cooperate and, as they wait for it to clear, Fiona and Alec are drawn together by mutual loss, longing, and the miracle of love at mid-life.

On the day he finally reaches the summit, Alec is caught in a vicious hailstorm. He scatters Gwynne’s ashes and then, just as he begins the descent, he stumbles upon the body of a man he recognizes from a photograph at the farm: it is Fiona’s ailing and reclusive husband, David, and he is close to death.

The Long Walk Home is a story about grief and hope, about love and loss, and about two people struggling with the agonizing complexities of fidelity—to a spouse, to a moral code, to each other, and to a passion neither thought would ever appear again. By turns lyrical and gripping, set amid a landscape of breathtaking beauty and unpredictable danger, this is a story you will not soon forget.