STEPPE by STEPPE
The following is one of my most prized possessions: a personal letter from Veronica, Lady Maclean (widow of Sir Fitzroy Maclean), about Steppe by Steppe
BLACK SANDS & CELESTIAL HORSES
Suttle makes both past and present come alive with her tangible descriptions of sights, sounds, and smells, and her torrid depictions of the geography, people, and events… A daring trek for a man, let alone an unaccompanied woman, Suttle’s tenacious desire to trace the steps of her beloved Akhal-Teke breed takes her to a myriad locations, breathtaking, heart wrenching, and in some cases hair raising.
… Her amazing journey covered two years and ended with her not only accomplishing her journey, but eventually taking her beloved Celestial companion – with whom she had shared so much toil, suffering, and joy – back to England where he has sired well over a dozen foals for his precious endangered breed.
…This is an enchanting read. Bravo!
(Victoria Tollman, Executive Director, Equus Survival Trust)
Gill interweaves her travels with the complex histories of the two countries, making the history as fascinating as are her struggles with post communist bureaucracy. Utterly determined, she never takes no for an answer. The journey was made in 1996, in a window after independence… those opportunities are generally no longer available, so she gives a fascinating insight into the lives of the ordinary people of Turkmenistan. A treat not to be missed.
(Ruth Staines, Secretary of the Caspian Horse Society)
An engrossing travel story in the grand tradition.
…Turkmenistan is barely accessible to most Westerners, but Ms. Suttle navigated the bureaucracies as nimbly as her gleaming stallion sailed over muddy irrigation ditches.
…Populated with an engaging cast of characters and tales of kindness, perfidy, and peril, this book weaves the colourful threads of past and present Turkmenistan with the skill of a carpet maker.
…Gill’s efforts to care for Kaan along the way are a master class in horsemanship…The story does not end at Merv. Gill’s efforts to bring her beloved Kaan home to England in the face of terrible odds, including Turkmenistan’s outright export ban on horses, is a second, emotionally charged story in the tradition of Michael Morpurgo’s “Warhorse.” (Amazon Review: Laura Parker)
Really interesting, well written book and quite different from other travel books… very “off the beaten track”. (Amazon Review: J C Wilson)
BETWEEN the DESERT and the DEEP BLUE SEA
Do read this book. It is a reminder of the joys of peacetime and also by comparison with news of the devastation of civil war and the effect it has on ordinary people. Let us hope that Syria can soon return to normality. (Caroline Baldock, literary assistant to Monty Roberts)
…This book tells of her remarkable adventure as she experienced first hand what it was like to live among “the most generous and charming of the Arab peoples”.
… Gill set off from the edge of the Damascus Oasis and enjoyed a relaxed journey across Syria, going wherever the roads took her. Gill enjoyed the famed hospitality of local Syrians and often slept rough.
Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea is a well-written and inspiring book. Woven through the journey is information on the history and religion of the area, as well as some wonderful moments of pure humour which make you laugh out loud… an acknowledgement of how a place such as Syria, steeped in history, can be the most welcoming and hospitable place on the planet.
Samantha Mattocks © The Arabian Magazine 2007
It is so enjoyable to find a good travel book… a journey through the length of a natural and beautiful Syria… I hopefully wait for another book someday, where the author might take another amazing journey upon horseback. (Amazon Review: Annie)
“A stimulating and lively read from a promising new travel author who vividly conveys the joys and difficulties of her journey across Eastern Europe in the early years of freedom from Communism.”
“Excels when she talks about the views and the countryside… Her descriptions are evocative but concise”
“This book must be an inspiration to anyone suffering with ME.”
“If you are addicted to horses, travel stories… and chocolate… Then this is the book for you!”