Longlisted for the 2020 Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award
A soaring memoir of longing, resilience and delight in the natural world.
In this extraordinary and unexpected book, Patti tells the story of her own long-distance walking over hundreds of kilometres in Europe and of her brother's obsession with paragliding.
As adults, a tragic accident changes their relationship. One day, Barney's wing collapses and he plummets to earth, breaking his spine. The story of his struggle to walk again intersects Patti's long-distance journeys, creating an intense narrative of determination and triumph.
For Patti, walking is a radical act – a return to what has made us all human — that bestows a connection to wild nature and to creativity it self. But as she listens to her pragmatic and methodical brother tell his story, she learns that flying is his door to untrammelled joy too. She realises that she is 'meeting' him for the very first time.
This beautiful and inspiring book tells their story and reveals that the siblings share a willingness to take risks and an indefatigable determination. With rare insight and poetic writing, The Joy of High Places combines physical adventure with a powerful emotional journey.
'Each time I opened this book, I felt as though I was returning to a wise and true friend. Patti Miller captures the pleasures of the body, the joy of landscape, the thrill of knowing and being known. More than that, she unpacks the mysteries of memory, and the way we carry our past into our present. I loved it.' — Kathryn Heyman, author of Storm and Grace
'Patti Miller's The Joy of High Places is a moving and delightful tale of the beauty of nature, the importance of human connection, and a determination that can cross mountains and soar through skies.' — Better Reading