‘I never imagined that the wind would blow me here, to a kind of isolation I have never experienced… There is never anything out here but my shadow, that no one treads on any more’
When Jade’s partner leaves the barn that they moved into just weeks before, he leaves a dent in the wall and her life unravelled. Numbed from years in a destructive, abusive relationship, she faces an uncertain future and complete solitude.
Slowly, with the help of Devon’s salted cliffs and damp forested footpaths, Jade comes back to life and discovers the power of being alone. As Jade reacclimatizes, she considers what it means to live alone. Through conversations with other hermits across the world, Fitton sheds light on the myriad – and often misunderstood – ways of living alone: from monks to hikikomori, and the largely ignored female hermit.
Jade questions whether hermitic living is possible in an era of constant communication and increased housing costs as she finds herself financially unstable and itinerant. She realises that home doesn’t exist within walls, but within the landscape of her childhood home county. Lyrically written, this is an inspirational story of recovery, of finding home, and of celebrating solitude in the natural world.