The Fish Ladder by Katharine Norbury


FishLadderPart travelogue, part memoir, this deeply moving story of self-discovery – told through journeys on foot along the glittering rivers of Britain – is nature writing at its finest and destined to be a classic of memoir.

Katharine Norbury was abandoned as a baby in a Liverpool convent. Raised by loving adoptive parents, she grew into a wanderer, drawn by the beauty of the British countryside. One summer, following the miscarriage of a much-longed-for child, Katharine and her nine-year-old daughter Evie decide to follow a river from the sea to its source. But a chance circumstance forces Katharine to the door of the woman who gave her up all those years ago.

Combining travelogue, memoir, exquisite nature writing, fragments of poetry and tales from Celtic mythology, The Fish Ladder is a captivating and life-affirming story about motherhood, marriage, family, and self-discovery, illuminated by the extraordinary majesty of the natural world.

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About the author



Katharine Norbury trained as a film editor with the BBC and has worked extensively in film and television drama. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UEA. The Fish Ladder – which combines travelogue, memoir and landscapism – is her first book. She was chosen as the Observer’s Rising Star in non-fiction for 2015 and The Fish Ladder was a book of the year in the Guardian, the Independent and the Telegraph as well as being longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, 2015. It has been shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2016 for nature and UK travel writing and nominated as one of National Reading Group Day 2016’s real life reads. She lives in London with her family.

Author photo: Robin Farquhar-Thomson