This is a book from the North about the North. 18 chapters from 18 authors make up the book and while the general content of each chapter is similar - our relationship with the wilder places of the world - there is enough variation in tone and style to make it really feel like a satisfying compilation. The message is consistent, but the voices are varied.
Most of the chapters focus on some form of journey - with your mother, with a sister who is no longer here, with childhood memories - around some of the wilder parts of Northern Britain. Given that the book is produced by a publishing company claiming to be the most northerly in the UK this comes as no surprise.
A number of themes or motifs occur regularly in the chapters, curlew calls, encounters with deer, and the links between land and sea, sea and sky and sky and land.
At times some of the authors do seem to be taking themselves very seriously indeed - " I have spent time studying this landscape in every way" Every way? None missing at all? The author must have been very busy indeed. But such passages are not common.
The themes of this book are both familiar and important, and while the ideas expressed in the book do not really expand beyond what has already been written elsewhere, it is still enjoyable and interesting.
However, I think the book contains a contradiction - that you can find beauty in landscapes if you just choose to look, but the only landscapes looked at are in the North. While the South Downs (as an example) are hardly "wilder" in a national sense, they are wilder than Chelsea, Bath or Eastbourne and I think that a wider spread of locations would have added to the central message of the book.
This is an enjoyable and sometimes thought provoking book which I would recommend.