Northward to Santiago

This book will appeal to a very special reader. I would recommend it to anyone who:

  1. Has lost a spouse recently. The author, Patrick Tierney, had lost his wife to Cancer just a year before he decided to walk the Camino Portuguese from Porto in her memory.
  2. Can enjoy the humour in an elevated style of writing. In spite of the tragic nature of the author’s Camino, there is a lot of dry wit to lighten even the darkest way.
  3. Was raised Catholic and has opted out of the church at some point in their life. As Patrick suggests often in his book – you may decide to leave the church, but the church never really leaves you.

Having lost my husband to Cancer a little over two years ago, I could identify with all of the author’s anxiety while caring for and finally losing his wife to the disease. I also happen to particularly enjoy Patrick’s writing style. His use of language is precise, with a unique turn of phrase that often offers a humorous observation of life, religion and the Camino.

Having been raised a Catholic, myself, and also having lost the importance of religion in my life, I can sympathize with the author’s attachment to the memory of a rich liturgy, a communal faith and the ever present concept of penance.

Northward to Santiago is a very enjoyable read. Patrick carries is own pact, walks with other pilgrims he meets along the path, especially two women from Toronto, another of my attractions to the book and stays in some very upscale accommodation.

Also not to be overlooked are pages of the author’s own poetry and that of his late wife – very heartfelt and authentic.

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

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