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Walking into Alchemy:
The Transformative Power of Nature
by Author Amelia Marriette
The book has three main areas of interest: 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 with my new partner the artist and goldsmith Katie Gayle. 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.
Where to Buy
Walking into Alchemy has 61 colour photographs, which I took during my year of walking. I chose Mereo Books, a very small publisher in Cirencester in the UK, to publish my book because they alone agreed to place the images at the head of every chapter and not just plonk them into a block in the centre of the book. If you buy the book directly from Mereo Books you will get the full-colour experience printed on beautiful paper and many people have commented on the quality of the book. You will also be supporting a small independent publisher.
You can buy the book from all Amazon sites. But did you know that Amazon print their own books? They do this because they know that price is important, and to keep costs down they print in black and white and on thinner paper. But this option is cheaper, and perhaps more convenient for you. You can also order my book from Gardener's Book depository worldwide with free delivery. I have provided some direct links for you below.
The decision is yours. I hope that however you decide to buy my book you will enjoy it and get pleasure from it.
Walking into Alchemy is also available in select shops in Austria and can be ordered from any UK bookshop by arrangement.
Frick's Buchhandlung in Vienna in Colour
"...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.
International Amazon Review
Commenting on The Guardian'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."
1st April 2020
Goodreads 5.0 star 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 5.0 out of 5 stars, 10 December 2019
Walking into a new future.
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.
Amazon 5.0 out of 5 stars, 27 December 2019 by AM
Read, reflect and enjoy!
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 star 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.
Amazon 5.0 out of 5 stars, 30th December 2019
Could not put down a must-read for anyone interested in relocating or new beginnings.
A really addictive read - I loved reading about Amelia's story of finding herself and discovering herself. Very inspiring and would definitely recommend if you are thinking about a move/change of direction.
Amazon 5.0 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 5 star Review by Kerry Carruthers, 16 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 a 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".
Goodreads 5 star Review by Helen Trankle, 05 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 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 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 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, a child, 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.
Amazon 5.0 out of 5 stars 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.