My Book Review of Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike

Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It's the Pilgrimage, Not the HikeSavoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike by Julie Gianelloni Connor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2-in-1: Travel Guide & Memoir

I love history, biographies, and Rick Steve. I’m not big on travel books or memoirs, but I do enjoy new experiences. It’s important to me to expand my mind by exposing myself to unexpected things, so I grabbed this book. As a spiritual person (with a fascination for the Knights Templar), it appealed to me.

What I liked was the tantalizing tidbits of history sprinkled throughout. I enjoyed the concise way the author laid out her thoughts and reasoning for why, and how, to plan for and possibly undertake the Camino pilgrimage. Her final “deep thoughts” were beautiful and in target with what I felt all through her retelling.

What I felt would have been better, at least for me, was if this book had been made into 2 titles: a travel guide and a memoir. I see the value of it being combined, but there were times the memoir aspects distracted from the travel guide and vice versa. They really target different audiences, so it left me wanting.

The travel guide portion is brilliant. A wonderful insight into all aspects of the Camino pilgrimage. A balanced blend of faith and secular views to give any person interested in traversing this adventure support, direction, and inspiration.

The memoir portion left me a bit wanting. The author dropped some tidbits of stories but never elaborated. I found myself wondering, desiring to know more. I think if she’d written a separate memoir it would’ve allowed her to delve deeper, giving a more connective experience to the reader.

Overall, this is a wonderful book. If you love travel books/blogs, memoirs, Spain, Spanish culture, have any interest in Catholic saints, or pilgrimages of any sort, grab a copy. This is a “feel good” read of a mother-son journey as much as a helpful guide.
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