Cover Image: Weathering


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Member Reviews

This was a grounding (pun intended) book, full of the wisdom of the earth and encouragement through the turmoils that all of us will face at one point or another in our lifetimes, as well as a reflection on our collective relationship with the planet we live on. Part memoir, part self-help, and part guide to the Peak District, Weathering has a wide appeal. Ruth Allen takes her readers through a journey, using her knowledge of geology – her first career – as well as therapy – her current vocation – to help them gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the ground they stand on.

As I read this book, the Pride and Prejudice quote “What are men to rocks and mountains?” often came to mind, but what Allen is exploring is what are mankind and rocks to one another? She showed throughout that the ground we stand on every day is more than just a surface, and the landscapes that surround us impact our inner geography much more than we realise. Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘know your place’, Weathering is a call to become more aware of the Earth that sustains us, for the well-being of our planet, but also our minds.

As an outdoor therapist, Allen meets with her patients out in nature, and given that she lives in the Peak District, the options for meandering paths are endless. She talks about the way that even the way we walk and hold ourselves speaks volumes to our inner turmoil, and the different effects of choosing a familiar path versus a new trail when walking. In our fast paced world full of worry and separation from our physical surroundings, this book is a reminder of our foundations and an invitation to slow down and press our hands against the earth.

Weathering has a wide appeal, and you don’t have to know anything about geology to enjoy it. Allen has an easy, direct tone that feels as if she is walking beside her reader, talking through the points of life and pointing out interesting rocks along the way. It is comforting, insightful, and brimming with wisdom. I highly encourage everyone to pick it up.

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The concept of Weathering appealed to me and I found quite a bit of common ground with the author in terms of the connection of all life and the need to engage with our part in nature as a whole, including the depth and slowness of geology, but as a I read I found myself struggling to maintain a full engagement with the text. I did go off on tangential internal conversations about deep time and ageing, about the meaning that we find in our lives, all of which were good, but I was never sure whether they were responses to the book or just the conversations I often have with myself. By the end it felt like there were good things to take from the experience but that the concept and analogy had maybe been stretched a little too far.

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I have been following Ruth Allen for several years on Instagram and was very excited when I saw that she had published a new book.
I have visited the Peak District once and really enjoyed being transported back to the region. It is clear to see that the landscape and region means a lot to Allen and she is very knowledgeable. The combination of nature writing and self-help/therapy book is really interesting and meant a lot to me personally. I loved how Allen combined musings about nature with reflections on stress and grief. It is not a book I can read in one sitting, but I dipped in and out of it and it always helped me one way or another.
A great book if you are looking for encouragement and nature writing! Thank you for the eARC!

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As a Derbyshire lass I felt so at home exploring the familiar trails, hills and rocks of the Peak District featured in the chapters of Ruth Allen's latest book. This landscape perfectly frames the theme of "weathering" both in the form of erosion of the geology but also of life, how these events shape and define everything. Fundamentally it explores how things must change in order to keep a balance. Reflections on stress, grief, aging, safety, health, fear and ambiguity are beautifully written in the context of experiences of the author in amongst the outdoor places used for recreation and in her line of work as a psychotherapist. The parallels drawn between human life experience, ecology and geology are captivating and deeply intriguing to read. Expertly written and superb in its summary of the enduring cycles of nature and the importance of connection and resilience, "Weathering" is a book I feel I'll often dip back into for reassurance and encouragement through times of change.

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Weathering by Ruth Allen

Rocks and mountains have withstood aeons of life on our planet - gradually eroding, shifting, solidifying, and weathering. We might spend a little less time on earth, but humans are also weathering: evolving and changing as we're transformed by the shifting climates of our lives and experiences. So, what might these ancient natural forms have to teach us about resilience and change?

As someone who also enjoys walking on the UK's ' big rocks ' it was fascinating to read this book, I've enjoyed some of the hills she mentions and so expertly writes about.
A great book for those that enjoy getting outside in the hills with the added bonus of her in depth knowledge of geology and how that fits in with us .

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