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I've been curious about this book for some time, but I've been having such uneven experiences with travel memoirs lately that I was a little hesitant. This sounds wonderful. I'm definitely moving it up on my list.


Ana--This is definitely not a traditional travel memoir--it encompasses so much more and was written retrospectively. In her intro to the book Jan Morris said his publisher called it a work of genius--and Morris agreed. I'm looking forward to starting the next book where he continues on his journey.

Claire (The Captive Reader)

This has been on my TBR list for ages and this makes me even more eager to read it! Everything I've read by Leigh Fermor so far has been wonderful. And I'm always a sucker for Old World tales of "princes and peasants"!


What a coincidence. These two books are to my immediate right at the very top of my TBR pile. I just finished A Time to Keep Silence and am very impressed with Fermor's writing and his life. I encourage all your readers to jump right into a Fermor book ASAP.


So much praise from everybody. It sure does sound like something I have to explore. I am not much into travel writing but you did a great job reviewing it and making it obvious that it is so much more.


I just saw A Time to Keep Silence on amazon. Sounds like something I would enjoy. His exploring of monasteries.
But the one you reviewed is a must too. The end of the old Europe. A bit like Stefan Zweig's The World of Yesterday (an earlier period but the same feel).


You have done better than me - I'm still stuck in the middle of Germany! It's not that I don't love the book - I do. But I haven't picked it up in a while (you know how that happens...). But I do think he is an amazing writer and he's recording a world of inter-national ease and trust, where strangers are welcomed and cared for without a worry, that could never exist again.


I have postponed starting A Time of Gifts to next month as the other diary I am reading takes more time to finish. Really looking forward to it, more so after this review.

Liz F

Thank you, Danielle, your review makes me want to find my copy of A Time of Gifts, which I originally read a long time ago, and re-read it very soon!
Must get hold of Between the Woods and Water too, so I can continue straight on if the mood takes me!


I seem to be the only one of the commenters that had never heard of this book before! It is now definitely added to my wishlist..


I love travel narratives and this one, with all its history, sounds like a lovely addition to my TBR pile.


I put this book on my TBR list after the first couple times you mentioned how much you were enjoying it. It sounds so good! Perhaps this winter when I'd like to escape I'll find the time to pick it up.


This book does sound wonderful. Speaking of books that are wonderfully written, have you read Laurie Lee?


You have really hooked me on this book. It is going to be very difficult to track down but I will find it eventually. Thanks for this post.


Thank you for another great review. I'll have to add this to my long list---a list that will last until I get to be about 379 years old--of books to buy.


'Paddy' seems to be mentioned everywhere at the moment so I think it's about time I got down to reading him.
Deborah Mitford(dowager Duchess of Devonshire) even mentions him in a recent interview in The Guardian. He is her greatest friend.


I loved this book and you've more than done it justice in your review. I have the second book on my tbr mountain and must get to it sometime.

Dorothy W.

Wow, this sounds really great! I love books about walking and walking adventures, so it's my kind of thing, definitely. It's going on the TBR list!


Claire--This is the first book I've read by him, but it certainly won't be the last. And I love the period he wrote about, so it was especially interesting to me.
EB--So glad to hear that. I actually have A Time to Keep Silence on top of *my* TBR pile, though I will probably read the second travel book before picking up the book on monasteries. His work definitely deserves to be widely read.
Caroline--I do enjoy travel books, though I haven't read much of it lately. This is definitely very unique. I also have that book on monasteries and am really looking forward to it! I have read a couple of Stefan Zweig books--loved them both, and now will be on the look out for this title as well.
Litlove--I think I also stalled on the Germany part--it is a book that I could only read in certain moods and under certain conditions (definitely not a treadmill book!), but when I had a long weekend a while back I read the last third or so straight through. I think the timing was just right. His prose is gorgeous but so rich, too, you can only read a bit at a time. I don't think what he did could be done ever again either--at least not in the same way. I think that was part of my fascination with it.
Catharina--Actually it seems like a perfect fall book as he starts his journey in December. I think your timing will be just right.
Liz--If I didn't already have two other nonfiction books on my pile I would pick up the other travel book now. And this is one I could easily reread and no doubt get more out of it a second time.
Iris--I had heard of him, but I'm not sure I would have picked up any of his books had I not got a copy through my postal reading group. I do hope I introduce him to a few more readers, though, as he certainly deserves to be read.
Trish--This is a very rich read--has a little bit of everything. I think he has been called Britain's greatest living travel writer!
Stefanie--I think you might like this--it's very literary and it would be great to read it during winter as his journey begins right before Christmas! I love the cover of the book--it's so very fitting with what he writes about.
Linda--I think this is easy one of my favorite books this year. I have heard of Laurie Lee--I think he was friends with Elizabeth Jane Howard (whose Cazalet Chronicles I loved). I will have to check him out--I bet my library would have something by him.
Mystica--This is one that is worth searching out. It was first published in the 70s, so I bet there are lots of used copies floating about.
Doulton--I'll have to live that long to read all the books I own and want to own as well! I try not to think about it, but that is why I always have too many books started at once!
Katrina--Jan Morris calls him Paddy in her introduction! It's weird to think of him like that, but that must be what he goes by? Did you see that a book of letters between Leigh Fermor and the Duchess of Devonshire is going to be published (at least here in the US) this fall? I've asked my library to order it as I want to read more (and am also curious about Debo, too!). I will have to go in search of that Guardian article.
Cath--It's so hard to write about NF books, so I only glossed over things, but it's a great book to just discover on your own. I want to read the second book, too, though am not quite sure when I will get to it either...
Dorothy--I love that he walked--it is very appealing for that alone. Actually he cheated a couple of times, but still it's pretty amazing how far he got under his own steam. It's really a wonderful book--I hope you do get a copy eventually.


This book sounds like a wonderful read. I'm going to add it to my list.


Kathy--It really is a wonderful book! I can't wait to read more of his work--particularly the second book of his travels. I've also requested a book of letters between him and Deborah, the Duchess of Devonshire that is due to be published soon!

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