Religion Jennifer Lash On Pilgrimage

ISBN 13: 9781582340128

On Pilgrimage

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9781582340128: On Pilgrimage

From the remarkably talented novelist comes an unforgettable travel memoir.

In 1986 Jennifer Lash learned she had cancer, and after a painful operation, she embarked on a solitary pilgrimage through France to Spain. Travelling to places of contemporary Christian pilgrimage such as Lourdes, Lisieux and Taize, as well as making numerous stops in Vezelay, Le Puy, and Le Chaise-Dieu high in the forests of Auvergne, Saint-Gilles, she finished her pilgrimage at the celebratory phenomenon of Santiago de Compostela. Sensitive, humorous, courageous and inspiring, On Pilgrimage is the story of this incredible journey.

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Review:

Having completed a series of painful cancer treatments, British novelist Jennifer Lash sets forth on a pilgrimage through historic Christian (and one Buddhist) sites in France and Spain. A lapsed Catholic who feels intensely connected to various Catholic saints but decidedly disconnected from Catholicism itself, Lash does not herself fully understand why she has undertaken this journey. But however uncertain her motives, her prose is strong and distinctive, as in this description of the mountainous route to Santiago de Compostela: "This dry, deserted land felt as if it was a spiral of smoke curling its way up and up, far from the cities and traffic and people below." Lash does not try to impose any artificial story arc or "lesson" on her book, which begins with her arrival in Alencon, home of 19th-century saint Therese Martin, and ends in Santiago de Compostela, possible final resting place of James the Apostle. Between these two points she treats us to snippets of civic and religious history, insights into her own life, and glimpses of an ancient method of reaching for personal peace and healing: the pilgrimage. --Rebecca Gleason

About the Author:

Jennifer Lash wrote her first novel, The Burial, at the age of twenty-three, and this was followed by four more over the next twenty years. She married Mark Fiennes and with their six children they moved between Ireland and England. Throughout her illness, Jennifer Lash continued to write, leaving her last novel, Blood Ties, to be published by Bloomsbury after her death in 1993.

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