In August 2015, Katherine May set out to walk the South West Coast Path. Perhaps she was hoping to recover her identity after the onslaught of motherhood; perhaps she was clinging to the last threads of youth before she turned forty. Either way, she wanted to understand why she had stopped coping with everyday life.
A chance encounter with a voice on the radio makes her realise that she has Asperger’s Syndrome, a diagnosis later confirmed by her doctor. This leads to a re-evaluation of her life – a kinder one, which allows herself to be different rather than awkward, or arrogant, or unfeeling – and throws a new light on the walking project too.
Through the pages of this beautiful memoir, Katherine learns to understand her own needs and articulate them to others, battling all along with her fear of becoming unlovable.
The Electricity of Every Living Thing is an exploration of the agonies of being at odds with the world, but it’s funny and conversational too.