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For me, this is a long awaited book from Bishop Stephen. Ever since reading his poem Annunciation on the last page of his book Walking Backwards to Christmas I had been hoping there was more where that came from.
And here in this series of reflections, poems and images of the Bishop's pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, you will certainly find more. If you have walked the Camino yourself you may find much in the book that you relate to. If you have always wanted to do it, but are in need of that final push, I suspect you will find plenty to inspire you. And if, like me, you would love to do it, but realistically think it unlikely that you will be either fit enough or intrepid enough to take the bull by the horns and go, then this will help you to vicariously experience it.
From the pain of blistered feet to the smell of the eucalyptus trees, from the beating sun to the warmth of Spanish brandy you will find lovely evocative images and stories for each day, conjuring up pictures of the Bishop's fellow pilgrims and the countryside which surrounded them, as well as little snippets of knowledge; apparently St James didn't actually ever set foot in Spain! Who knew?
I don't think you will be disappointed in this book. It's not long and doesn't have to be read all at once. In fact it would probably benefit from being dipped into rather than taken at a gallop. It would make a perfect gift as well as a treat for yourself.
Rachel Orford - Bookshop Manager