Walking into Alchemy:
The Transformative Power of Nature
by Amelia Marriette
About Walking into Alchemy
It is a love story; a nature story and a book about art, culture and the wider world. The love story led to my relocation to Austria. I was surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Carinthian region of Southern Austria. I sought repair and rejuvenation through the completion of fifty-two, thirteen-mile walks in the span of one calendar year. I was able to return myself to health by considering and reconsidering personal experiences, emotions, ideas and memories. As the weeks passed, I began to find my sense of place and my new path in life. I realised that I was walking into alchemy, mining for gold as I went. The book is about looking and seeing and about finding beauty in nature and life. If you want to start walking to regain your own health and happiness this book will be both a companion and a manual to help you become a walker for life.
Where to Buy
Walking into Alchemy
Walking into Alchemy is published by Mereo Books of Cirencester in the UK, they produce great quality editions. If you buy the book directly from Mereo or from me, you will receive a signed, large-format, full-colour copy of my book printed on high-quality paper. And you will be supporting the little guy!
You can buy the book from all Amazon sites worldwide. But did you know that Amazon print their own books? They do this to keep their costs down, and they print images in black and white and on thinner paper. But this option is cheaper and perhaps more convenient for you.
The decision is yours. I hope that however you decide to buy my book, you will enjoy it and get pleasure from it.
I love to hear from my readers - if you have a question, please get in touch!
Buy Walking into Alchemy directly from the Author
Buy your copy of my book as an E-book in full colour directly from me the author using Paypal or Credit Card for only £3.99.
(Please note that I will never share your personal details and all payments are secure - the price is shown in Euros but rest assured that if you buying in pounds sterling it won't cost you more)
Buy a signed special edition with over 50 full-colour images of Walking into Alchemy printed in high-quality paper, directly from my website for £23.00 including Free P&P in the UK and EU.
(Please note that I will never share your personal details and all payments are secure - the price is shown in Euros, but rest assured that if you buying in pounds sterling it won't cost you more)
Buy Walking into Alchemy from Bookshops, Publisher or Amazon
Walking into Alchemy is at the top of the exclusive list of books on the Wayfinders, Women Walkers and Wanderers List. A list curated by the famous Fred's Ambleside Bookshop in the Lake District
Reviews of Walking into Alchemy:
The Transformative Power of Nature
Gscene Magazine, Brighton, January 2021, Reviewed by Eric Page
"Perhaps this is the book we all need after The Virus has left us bruised and learning that the simple act of walking in nature can give us the things we most need and desire."
International Amazon Review, Diana Sweeney, 20th February 2020 "...like many of Shakespeare's characters, Marriette wanders into the forest and finds herself transformed having discovered that beauty and hope are still abundant in this damaged world."
Commenting on The Guardian Newspaper's suggestions for books to read during the COVID-19 lockdown - one reader said, "This book surpassed my expectations and is beautiful and inspiring in equal measure. A must-read from a new author with sublime storytelling and insight."
Goodreads Review by Kaz Pritchard, 17th February 2021
From the moment I picked this book up, I was hooked. It has such depth, is rich with descriptions and is packed with information about Austria, birds and flowers. A fabulous turn-your-life-around-book with poignant stop and think moments. It's a feel-good, honest diary and it's now on my favourite books shelf. Read it, because you won’t regret it.
Gscene Magazine, Brighton, January 2021, Reviewed by Eric Page
Worn out after wrestling with redundancy, leaving her with a frayed and ravaged mental health playwright and curator Marriette has a chance meeting with Katie, who leads her into a new world of walking, connecting with the simple natural rhythms around her. This local exploring leads to finding an inner balance and allows her to reconnect with her life, passion and desires and ultimately find love. This rather sweet, but none-the-less powerful non-fiction book explores how walking has re-connected her to the world in a vivid passionate way, improved deeper mental health and inspired creativity. It’s also a fresh, reflective guide to change. Written in an engaging chatty style and drawing on examples of composers who have relished and relied on the creative and healing power of the great outdoors and walking in partially, like Holst and Britten, who both marched the lands, listened to its timeless rhythms and found motivation. The new couple move to Europe and walk the same 13 miles trail through the woods and mountains of Austria, each week, for a year. Stopping, being still, learning, connecting and exploring nature while allowing a rejuvenation of spirit and love to work its energetic magic.
Perhaps this is the book we all need after The Virus has left us bruised and learning that the simple act of walking in nature can give us the things we most need and desire. (
Goodreads Review by Christopher Fletcher, 18th January 2021
What strikes at first is the presentation, the way the book lies in the hand (I read the softback, not the Kindle edition), the page layout, the colour photographs, aptly chosen and beautifully set out at the chapter heads. It is a success on many levels, astonishingly so when one considers it basically describes the same walk 52 times over. How could that be anything but repetitive and dull? Well, Amelia has certainly cracked it with sensitive descriptions, attention to details which most people would never have noticed, and an easy style that keeps one reading. Driving the physical action is a spiritual impulse, a need to cure a damaged psyche, and it appears that the task which Amelia set herself at the outset has been successful on this level too. A wonderful read. I look forward to her next book - with even more of her fine photographs!
I found Amelia and then this book through a Facebook page called One Million Women Walking. On the Facebook page, I was attracted to Amelia's beautiful prose that accompanied her pictures of places she walks. It's a scary world right now, and Amelia's writing took me away from reading news and transported me to nature. This book is a wonderful journal that records Amelia's walks, with great descriptions of what she sees and how the walking project in it and of itself was a transformative process. I truly enjoyed the way she would describe something she sees and then put it into historical context. Her ability to know how much or how little to say kept me engaged throughout the book. I highly recommend it.
Good Housekeeping, Book Room, Lucy Stone, 10th January 2021
This is a beautiful book and I would highly recommend reading it during lockdown as it shall inspire you to get outside and enjoy some you time and some walking.....thank goodness we are allowed.
One Million Women Walking Founder, Heather Waring, 5th December 2020, Facebook
Walking into Alchemy is such a wonderful mix of information. It’s not only about walking but there are so many links with literature and history and life, as Amelia shares her wide knowledge and experience. I highly recommend this.
Goodreads Review by Dawn O’Connor, 25th November 2020
I loved reading this book! Amelia managed to capture so many wonderful aspects of walking in a really engaging way. I felt as though I was on the walks with her and experienced her delight in the discoveries she was making, both physical and mental. Her writing style is a joy to read and the book is packed with so many historical, cultural, botanical and ornithological references that I gained a real education as well as a thoroughly good reading experience.
Goodreads Review by Ann Hollowell, 18th September 2020
A unique cleverly written piece of writing
The power of nature is, of course, topical resulting from our enforced 'Covid19 Lockdown.'
and this book is a fitting example of, as the title suggests, the amazing healing power of nature. Our busy 'jam-packed' lives often overtake what appears to be the simple pleasures in life, and we get carried away and bogged down with the work /life pattern and demands from our children. Please take the time to read this, it will inspire you. No fear, maybe not to follow Amelia's footsteps with her disciplined approach but will probably allow you to pause reflect and take stock of what is most important in our lives and be uplifted and encouraged. The well-researched references and appendices give further interesting dimensions that will feed your knowledge bank without being oppressive.
Goodreads Review by Slavpajovicopenworld.com, 17th August 2020
It was amazing
We all recognize those moments where we feel exalted by a particular scene or memorable sight in nature. Imagine a succession of these linked in a healing chain and inspired by glorious surroundings. This, in essence, is the form of alchemy evoked by Amelia Marriette in her thoughtful and beautifully written book. Her offering is no purposeless countryside amble; it is set against a difficult and troubled time in her life. A sad void is filled not only by a new venture but also a whole mechanism for re-finding the awe and simplicity redolent of childhood and inspired by her ever-changing surroundings. We are guided through a Carinthian nature trail with changing seasons, wistful insights, scientific observations and reminiscences of childhood walks with her father all helping to mitigate recent woes. Ultimately the love of her new partner Katy, the landscape and various found objects on her walks are the physic that gradually provides welcome healing. The reader derives the benefit of all that is seen and interpreted through Amelia's observant eyes and through her imaginative writing. She achieves this in concise chapters that make picking up the book and absorbing a quantum of its descriptive energy a simple and rewarding task. The truth is we can all do with a little alchemy and Amelia's gift is to share hers with us. An enjoyable and thoughtful read.
Goodreads Review by Mr D.P. Corder, 12th August 2020
Walking into Alchemy is a lovely read
Recommended to me by a friend it's not normally the type of book I would be drawn to but in a stressful world where I seem to be forever chasing my tail to get work done on time for multiple people, I actually felt quite calmed when reading it.
Really like the diary format and anecdotal stories that come up as part of the walks in what sounds like an absolutely beautiful area to visit let alone to live. Although I'm sure Amelia's move was not without its challenges, I admit to a certain level of jealously at what comes across as a most uncomplicated and very satisfying life in Austria.
Goodreads Review by Karen Cooper, 5th August 2020
Amelia has created a truly beautiful and enriching publication with Walking into Alchemy.
Right from the introduction, when Amelia drops her bottle of Southern Comfort, I knew that I was going to thoroughly enjoy this book, despite the tears running down my cheeks. As a regular walker myself with my two boisterous dogs, I felt in very good company with Amelia. For me, I felt like I wanted to savour the journey; reading only one or two chapters a morning; not wanting to hurry to the end - like I was on a holiday.
The little extra pieces of information on art, history, poetry, music and geography that Amelia has experienced throughout her life are fascinating. Not only does Amelia have a flair for her unique way of putting pen to paper but she opens herself up for us all to see and enjoy, which makes Walking into Alchemy a real little gem. Thank you, Amelia, for sharing this walk with me. I feel well and truly honoured.
Amazon 5 out of 5. Review by Patrick Kincaid, 30th July 2020
I read this wonderful book at an interesting time.
I was drawn to it because I've been thinking about encounters with nature in a suburban environment and how we might encourage children, particularly, to participate in rewilding. The lockdown happened... For a few weeks I barely left the house, and that's when I read this inspiring book. It couldn't have come at a better time. Well written, with a real feel for the subject and genuine wisdom (but also wit), it coloured my daily (almost nightly - I went out in twilight) trips out to the local park (partly maintained by the local Wildlife Trust) and forced me to observe more closely and submit myself more completely to the environment. I think it will inspire you too - it certainly deserves to be read more widely.
Goodreads Review by Helen Swan, 29th July 2020
I so much enjoyed Walking into Alchemy
So many things in this book have echoes in my own life. I grew up with Breughel's 'Hunters in the Snow' a picture hung in the hall. Yet Amelia casts a new light on it that I as a child, I never understood. The illusion of the impossibly beautiful. Yet she spends the rest of the book showing us the impossibly beautiful! The chapter 'Dad' reminded me of my own Dad who died recently. It was lucky that my brother and I were able to take my parents up to the land of his birth Northumberland, while they were both still able to travel. I have never found jewels from my father's life such as Amelia describes, but that trip was precious. The image of war and the alternative "so many millions of people across Europe were so easily persuaded that war was more honourable than peace" is striking and still so valuable today; wars have not finished. This is a beautiful, far-ranging tale, both personal and worldwide. It is always based in home and soil, and so always comes back to peace and ground.
Goodreads 5 star. Review by Claudia Kronlechner, 12th May 2020
Amelia's book is refreshing and honest and the way she connects her observations to interesting facts had me amazed.
I am lucky enough to live in the area where she took her walks and I have started to be more aware of my surroundings too. Even people who don't know this part of the world will be able to imagine what it's like here and how each of the four seasons come and go. Amelia's descriptive narrative makes this very easy for the reader. She also mentions various paintings, artists, authors and historical information, facts that seem to pop up in her memory while she is immersed in her surroundings. This makes the book even more enjoyable. She is open about herself and her emotions, experiences and feelings, which I find courageous and inspiring. There is something for everyone in this book and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
Goodreads 5 star. Review by Judith Wills, 11th May 2020
Thank you, Amelia, for sharing your uplifting, beautiful and inspiring journey.
A perfect read for lockdown, it was wonderful to be transported to the stunning countryside of Carinthia, to see it in all its glory through the seasons was truly delightful. I was very sad to come to the end of this book and really hope we can go on more journeys with Amelia in the future.
Goodreads 5 star. Review by Helen Trankle, 5th May 2020
Finding solace in the natural world is probably one of our great healers and this book beautifully illustrates a journey both physically and mentally. It is written with honesty...observing; remembering; finding; marking and of course love. It is a captivating and easy read which conjures a landscape I have never visited and now would love to see. Poetry and fact lay seamlessly together as the author unravels her new found love of walking which brings a sense of recovery and sense of the world.
Goodreads 5 star Review by Jacquie Walters, 7th March 2020
If you're looking for a gently transformative book, solace for your soul, or just like reading about someone going for walks I heartily endorse this book.
It's gentle, thoughtful, considered and eloquent. Delivered enriched with observational details and honest self-reflection by its author, with whom I would take a long walk any day for the pleasure of her erudite company. Highly recommended.
Amazon.com 5 out of 5 stars by Diana Sweeney, 20th February 2020
I genuinely believe that at times, books often fall into your hands just when you need them
Walking into Alchemy is definitely one of those books. Overwhelmed by the dark times we are living in and trying to adapt to my new life as a retiree, I felt empty and adrift. Marriette's description of being "exhausted and wounded" resonated with me, and I felt compelled to follow her journey into "healing, peace, and true happiness." The book is a joy to read. Like an intricate tapestry, the author expertly weaves the story of her weekly journeys into her love of art and Shakespeare and her renewed interest in birds and flora and fauna. Just like many of Shakespeare's characters, Marriette wanders into the forest and finds herself transformed having discovered that beauty and hope are still abundant in this damaged world. Inspiring and uplifting, Walking into Alchemy is a must-read for anyone looking for a reminder that we can become our own alchemist if we are open to the magic all around us.
Goodreads 5 star Review by Kerry Carruthers, 16th February 2020
It was amazing
A celebration of nature and the power of stopping to notice the world before it goes by. If you have never been to the Austrian countryside this is one way to experience it. With beautifully written descriptions, as a reader, you walk alongside the author, as clear picture of the countryside you are experiencing together unfolds. Not only are you having the beauty of detail revealed to you but being informed and educated about what you are seeing. The links the author draws with art, music and her own past life experience bring an intimate depth to the book. You are party to her stream of consciousness, a part of the change that is happening within her. This book is an experience. Its pace and structure almost force you to take a breath, slow down and notice the world. As soon as you do that you find yourself not only involved in the author's story but losing yourself in reflection, inspired by (as the tagline says...) "the transformative power of nature. Highly recommended.
Amazon 5 out of 5 stars by Clare Shepherd 9th February 2020
A truly uplifting and engrossing read
A young woman is depressed as a result of redundancy. This inspirational book tells the story of how she found love, moves country and finds peace by walking in the countryside every week for a year. She finds love, healing and happiness. By the way, we learn of many aspects of life: her love of music, literature, the theatre, and much else. This is the most uplifting book I have read in the last year, and can't wait to see what she writes next. It even has pictures.
Goodreads Review by Helen Cruse, 4th February 2020
Everybody at some point will be presented with life challenges and troubles
The perfect accompaniment I felt in this book as a way of healing was nature itself. Nature, creatures, the wild and the wonderful freedom of open spaces can bring oneself a sense of wonderment. This was most certainly a journey of transformation and one of great wisdom. If anyone is looking for hope, positivity and need to be energised then this is the book to find it in so give it a go and have a read, you will enjoy it.
Amazon 5 out of 5 stars by Jack Sprat, 26th January 2020
An inspiring, easy read and joyful book!
Could not put this book down. You share an amazing journey with the author and learn so much along the way. If you are stuck in a rut, lost, depressed, need guidance and ideas this is the book for you. It beautifully demonstrates the power of walking and nature and has inspired me to makes changes in my own life, how cool is that, for the price of a book! A book to share with the ones you love or care about.
Amazon 5 out of 5 stars by Solitaire Townsend, 23rd January 2020
What a lovely book!
All of us face challenges in our lives, but few realise the incredible healing power of movement and nature. The author uses both (and her own important insights and wisdom) on a journey of transformation. If you're looking for motivation to start recovering/re-energising yourself or if you just enjoy great writing - then this is the book for you.
Amazon 5 out of 5 stars by Am Pulford, 16th January 2020
An Inspirational Read
One might well ask how on earth can 52 identical walks hold the reader's interest, but this book does just that. Amelia records her literal journeys alongside her mental/spiritual ones of renewal, through her detailed and heightened experience of nature. As she walks she muses about her past, family, her background of literature and art, touches on some of the concerns of the present day, and shares her delight in the plants and creatures she discovers along the way. Her references are accessible and it is an easy read full of information and enlightenment.
Goodreads 5 stars Review by Jackie, 12th January 2020
Having now finished this beautiful book I wished there was more!
Share this book and give a gift of knowledge, beauty and love. The book has started me on a journey of my own and inspired me to make plans and goals to fill my life with more nature and learning. Forget Eat, Pray Love, this is Walk, Discover, Grow.
Goodreads 5 stars Review by Gillian A. Agopsowicz, 3rd January 2019
A delightful read and a Christmas present that I will cherish.
My family nearly had no lunch on Boxing Day as I was so absorbed!! I hope when you have read it that you will feel as transformed as the author herself. It is a gentle, well written book of short chapters, but each containing so many facts about nature, culture, art and the power of love. Each chapter one walks alongside the author in the Austrian countryside. No ordinary walk as, on each one, a subtle transformation is taking place in nature, seemingly insignificant objects and within the author herself. I felt uplifted by this book. Not only could I see Austria, and I have never been there, but I felt the author's spiritual fulfilment and the realisation that true love and nature have the power to heal, to set us free and to make us happy. Don't just read it yourself, buy a copy for a friend or someone you love.
Amazon 5 out of 5 stars by The Mamahood on 30th December 2019
Could not put down - a must read for anyone interested in relocation and new beginnings.
A really addictive read - I loved reading about Amelia's story of finding a new path and discovering herself. Very inspiring and would definitely recommend if you are thinking about a move/change of direction.
Goodreads 5 stars, Review by Sharon Probert, 28th December 2019
Having picked up this book, I must say I found it hard to put down
It's a truly inspirational read. For anyone struggling with life, it shows us that there is hope and that better things are around the corner, if we are willing to take chances. The book is a journey of rediscovery and self-discovery and an enjoyable read, with wonderful photography throughout. Thank you Amelia Marriette for inspiring us all.
Amazon 5 out of 5 stars by Kindle Reader Hindsight, on 27th December 2019
Walking into a new future
What a wonderful book, beautifully and evocatively written. The Austrian landscape with its iconic seasonal variations is described in loving detail across a calendar year. We follow the author's inner journey as she traverses the same physical walk each week, noting the changes as the season's progress, marvelling at the small things - birdcalls, the shapes of clouds, the colours of the distant mountains, the found objects that seem ordinary but take on a special significance. I am forcing myself to read this slowly, stopping after each chapter to reflect so that I can prolong the joy of reading it for the first time. I know it's a book I will come back to again and again.
Goodreads 5 stars. Review by Jackie Baker, 15th December 2019
This is a truly beautiful, honest and inspiring book
The book format makes it an easy read along with the stunning photographs. You are taken on a journey full of wonder, nature and enlightenment. This is life-changing, life-affirming and life healing. If you are stuck emotionally, need a mental uplift or simply love nature and creativity this is the book for you. I have learned so much while reading this book about culture and art, history, gender politics, nature and its flora and fauna, about me and about Austria. A beautiful book!
Amazon.de 5 out of 5 stars by Erich Kronlechner on 13th December 2019
A book about resilience.
A wonderful, authentic read. The author had me feeling like I was right there with her - gardening, walking and living.
Amazon 5 out of 5 stars by AM on 10th December 2019
Read, reflect and enjoy!
A well written book full of wonderful tales of nature, fulfilment, change and spiritual awakening. A charming book, each chapter a tale in itself as the author narrates her chance meeting with a new life, her love of nature and an awakening that life is rich and full, and away from bad situations. It's difficult to put down as you become immersed in a delightful new world, away from it all. I recommend.
Über Alchemie des Gehens
Alchemie des Gehens - Das die Haupthandlung des Buches ist meine Reise aus den Tiefen der Depression und der Krankheit zu meinem glücklichen Umzug nach Österreich. Das Buch hat drei weitere Themen: eine Liebesgeschichte; eine Naturgeschichte und ein Buch über Kunst, Kultur und die weitere Welt. Die Liebesgeschichte handelt von meiner zufälligen Begegnung mit meiner heutigen Partnerin Katie, die zu unserem Umzug in ihre Heimatstadt in Österreich führte. Ich war umgeben von der atemberaubenden Landschaft der Kärntner Region und meine Liebe zur Natur wurde neu entfacht. Ich suchte Heilung und Regeneration durch die Vollendung von zweiundfünfzig fünfzehn Kilometer langen Wanderungen innerhalb eines Kalenderjahres. Dieser Akt des wiederholten Gehens ermöglichte es mir, die wechselnden Jahreszeiten zu studieren und die Flora und Fauna der Region zu erkunden; ich konnte mich selbst heilen, indem ich persönliche Erfahrungen, Emotionen, Ideen und Erinnerungen bedachte und überdachte. Ich kehrte auch zu meiner Liebe zur Fotografie zurück. Im Laufe der Wochen begann ich,meinen Ortssinn und meinen neuen Lebensweg zu finden. Mir wurde bewusst, dass ich die Alchemie beim Gehen entdeckte und dabei Gold fand.
Do you belong to a Book Club?
If you would like me to come and speak to your book club please do feel free to contact me. Or why not book a free Zoom session?
I offer a range of talks based on Walking into Alchemy: Walking and Nature; Walking and Literature; Walking and Art, Walking and Music; Walking for Health and Wellbeing; Spiritual Alchemy; Austria and Repatriation after the Second World War - all these topics and more are covered in the book.