Based on actual events that happened in the early 80’s when the Virgin Mary appeared to six children in the town of Medjugorje in war-torn Yugoslavia, Pilgrim is one of those books that after its beautiful cover has grabbed your eye, immediately aims itself directly at the centre of your heart!
When Charlie Carthy storms out of his house after yet another argument with his wife Sarah, he doesn’t realise it will be the last time he sees her. He turns inwards, forgetting about their daughter Jen, leaving her to fend for herself. How will she remind her father that he himself is still in the land of the living and that he still has her, and so much more to live for?
Sometimes it takes being in the most unexpected places, being surrounded with complete strangers to bring you back to yourself. Everyone deals with grief in different ways. Nobody can tell you what’s right or wrong and you can’t measure how long you need to take to get over your loss.
Charlie and Jen are together on the same journey, in entirely different ways – but somehow, this is what brings them back together. Louise Hall’s writing relays their experiences gently and sensitively in a way that all readers will be able to relate to in their own very meaningful, individual ways.
Drawing from the actual sightings and experiences of the time, regardless of what your beliefs are, in a war-torn, desolate landscape where hope was so desperately needed by so many people, this monumental incident was one that brought them together, no matter where they were from or what it was that brought them there.
This is one of those books that stays with you long after you’ve finished it. You may question certain things; you may feel the need to discuss it with others; you may want to take the time to digest whether this is something you need to explore further. Whatever your feelings or opinions, it’s definitely a book that has a powerful impact.
4 beautiful stars for this one!
Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me along on this soul-searching journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Louise Hall is from Malahide, Co. Dublin. She has previously published two works of non-fiction, Medjugorje: What it Means to Me and Medjugorje and Me: A Collection of Stories from Across the World. Her fiction has been published in The Irish Times and been shortlisted for numerous competitions, such as the RTÉ Guide/Penguin Short Story Award, the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Competition and the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards. Pilgrim is her debut novel.
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