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The Wild Other

A Memoir
Narrated by: Esther Wane
Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

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Summary

Clover Stroud's idyllic childhood in rural England was shattered when a horrific riding accident left her mother permanently brain damaged. Just 16, she embarked on a journey to find the sense of home that had been so savagely broken. Travelling from gypsy camps in Ireland to the rodeos of West Texas and then to Russia's war-torn Caucasus, Clover eventually found her way back to England's lyrical Vale of the White Horse.

The Wild Other is a grippingly honest account of love, loss, family and the healing strength of nature. Powerful and deeply emotional, this is the story of an extraordinary life lived at its fullest.

©2017 Clover Stroud (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A wild ride

This is a compelling, at times distressing memoir. The author was just 16 when her mother suffers a devastating riding accident. Although not a single bone is broken she's never able to communicate with her family again and spends the next 22 years mostly in residential care.

It would be enough to dissuade many people from ever getting in the saddle again but instead the teenage Clover leans in to the danger that horses now symbolise. Spells trading gypsy horses in Ireland and as a ranch-hand soon follow as well as a rather peculiar liaison with a circus performer in Chechnya.

Ultimately this is a life-affirming account of a life thoroughly well-lived in spite of or because of the intense trauma and grief of the accident. The book raises difficult questions about whether it is always better that a person escape death, and also the shocking decisions made by our care system.

Stroud doesn't mention that one sister is pottery queen Emma Bridgewater and another is Nell Gifford founder of the circus. Knowing this did make me marvel at the inner drive their mother must have given them before tragedy struck. Beautifully narrated too.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book, raw with emotion

Well narrated true story which is very readable (listenable!). If you have a love of horses even better as they are threaded through Clovers life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A good listen

I really enjoyed this audiobook , it is well narrated and flows well. The authors life is interesting but often really focuses upon horses which lost my concentration at times. However do not be put off this is a good engaging book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • D.
  • 23-06-17

Incredibly honest

What made the experience of listening to The Wild Other the most enjoyable?

The honesty with which Stroud tells her true feelings

Who was your favorite character and why?

Clover Stroud as above

What about Esther Wane’s performance did you like?

Clear and unaffected

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Thrill seeker

Any additional comments?

Amazing strength of personality and character to experience just what she has.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A real grit, spit and sweat memoir

This book will have you immersed from cover to cover!
A refreshing account of life after tragedy, and beyond. Clover has a serious talent for writing, in a style that everyone can relate to. An honest, bare bones and In depth memoir of trusting your instincts in the face of a monumental, catastrophic life shift and a real, human reaction to despair.
Clover engages the reader in such a way that is undoubtedly relatable to many people! This is a book that will stick with you for life! One of those that you will definitely read/listen to more than once!

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Quite possibly a must read for any mother or daughter

I am left reeling, not just from the spoken words but how I am feeling after finishing this. On a recommendation I downloaded it and so it consumed every free minute eager to find out more, desperate to help and resolved to give my loved ones a little bit more to hold onto.

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Enchanting and beautiful

I love the cyclical structure of this story. Epic and powerful drawing the reader to hard life topics : coping with severe and enduring illness of a family member and exploring mental health linked to this. But the writing is so beautiful and Stroud depicts characters, landscapes and stories within the story in a breathtaking poetic way that the book has a lightness with profound depth too. I loved it and recommend it to everyone!

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Wonderful

Wonderful writing, moving and heartfelt. I adored this book. I've listened more than once to it and I still find the writing scorchingly real, the descriptions of subtle and powerful emotions move me to tears and stop me in my tracks.

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Completely engaging

This book was completely engaging and I never wanted it to end. It was beautifully written and the reader could have been the author she read with such integrity and passion.

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Wonderful

I listened to this book some weeks ago on the recommendation of a friend and the feelings evoked by it have stayed with me despite listening to other books since then. It is a wonderful book which has been narrated beautifully. Clover and her siblings had an idyllic life with their wonderful, enthusiastic and unconventional mother who gave her children the childhood we all would have liked to have given our children. Their mother's accident is truly dreadful and cruel and the impact of it is then always with Clover and every action and decision she takes following that is a result of that accident. The story triggered memories of my own losses and made it doubly powerful. I highly recommend The Wild Other. It is a beautiful, sensitive, brave and fascinating book and it completely absorbed me. I had to ration how long I listened to it in one go, otherwise I occasionally felt overwhelmed by anxiety for Clover.