Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What the Psychic told the Pilgrim - Jane Christmas

The subtitle of this memoir is: "A Midlife Misadventure on Spain's Camino De Santiago De Compostela".

Christmas was on a plane promoting her first book - The Pelee Project: One Woman's Escape from Urban Madness - when a random conversation with an air attendant sparks a decision to announce on a national televison interview her intention to walk the Camino Trail.

In the Pelee Project, she left behind her job, sold her home escaped with her 10 year old daughter to a small Canadian island to get away from it all. It too is a really good read.

Once the decision to celebrate her 50th birthday on the Trail is publicly announced, offers and requests pour in from other women to join her. A year and a half later, she leaves her children with her mother, meets up with a group of roughly 15 other pilgrims and heads to Spain.

There has been a dearth of 'finding yourself on a pilgrimage' books lately. What I absolutely l loved about this one is the brutal honesty. Christmas does start out with ideas of wonderful epiphanies, spiritual awakenings, etcetera, but nothing goes quite as anyone envisioned. The group has nominated Jane as their leader - a position she has no interest in. There are splits in the group, personality conflicts,illness and a lot of sqabbling.

When Christmas inadvertently loses the group and strikes out on her own, that's when her Camino journey begins.

Where does the psychic come in? Well, before Christmas heads out, she consults a psychic, who has firm predictions about this journey. Do they come true? Does she find her truth on the Trail? I'll let you discover that.....

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