Mountain Song by Lucy Fuggle

Lucy Fuggle’s book is a curious book as it is unlike any I have ever read. However, I liked very much what she sets out to do in this book about her life experience, which also happens to contain much philosophising and rumination about modern life, how we fit into it or not, as the case may be, and finding peace in the busyness around us.

As someone who has lived close to the mountains, I could identify with the author’s pull towards them and the other natural features that they encompass. Part autobiography, part “meaning of life” discussion, part nature book, part poetry collection, part travel and hiking guide, this book is truly a hybrid of many different things and could become muddled as a result. And yet, it doesn’t. All of those different forms work together to form an organic whole that works, mirroring in some ways the landscape in which Fuggle finds herself recollecting in her writings. It truly reads as an appreciation of her experience in the mountains.

But it is not all about the landscape. Fuggle also discusses relationships, and one in particular, as well as work life and coming to terms with who you are as an individual and how you fit into the world around you – do you adapt and blend, but if that’s really not possible, should you shun it and retreat/regroup? As a reader too, I could intuit the influences that she cites in her writing, her choice of reading reflected in the way she chooses to tell her tale and I liked this, like an homage to what she likes and a literary representation of what makes her feel comfortable, wrapped up in the structure of her book, like a pleasing package.

I liked the discussion of ideas in this book. There is a sense that the author is relating a life journey (although I dislike that word) where she is coming to terms with who she is and in showing us where she has been and where she is headed, offering nuggets of wisdom to help us, if needed, in clarifying our circumstances and our needs in the same way that she is narrating hers.

Mountain Song was enjoyable on so many levels. It left me feeling thoughtful and warm and optimistic although I can’t wholly identify why but I will revel in the bafflement.

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