Skybound: A Journey in Flight by Rebecca Loncraine - review by Isabella Tree

Isabella Tree

Lifting Spirits

Skybound: A Journey in Flight


Picador 320pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

What it is about a human being’s yearning to fly – the urge to propel our bodies into the sky, to defy gravity and common sense and take to the air? That arm-flapping impulse we have as children to leave the ground? I remember once jumping from a fifteen-foot ha-ha in high winds holding four umbrellas, hellbent on taking off. Skybound leads us into that realm of yearning, that desire for release. Better even than Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Wind, Sand and Stars or Beryl Markham’s West with the Night, it catapults us into the dimension of aerial being. 

Rebecca Loncraine’s adventures as a trainee glider pilot were driven by personal trauma. In her mid-thirties she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Broken by surgery and a gruelling five months of chemotherapy, she left London and went to recuperate with her parents at their remote farmhouse in the Black Mountains

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