First of all let me apologize for taking a month off without warning. Life got busy and now I'm trying to catch up. Let’s get to the review.
Normally I don’t like to review memoirs but this book was too meaningful for me to pass over. It took me only 2 days to read this wonderful travelogue. It is the story of mother and daughter looking for answers in age old religion and ancient sites. I loved it because I love the idea of looking for answers across the globe, but also because the answers these women found helped me in my own search.
The events in the book take place around the time that Ann is graduating from college and trying to figure out what she should do with her life. That’s exactly the place I’m at right now, so although our situations are different I felt like she was speaking directly to me at certain points. Obviously not everyone will have the same reaction but I think that most women can relate to the issues that Sue grapples with throughout their trips. Sue is approaching fifty and has to come to terms with aging and the thought that someday she will die. They write prolifically about their individual situations and how dealing with these things brought them closer together.
The style of this book keeps it lively – alternating mother & daughter chapters give the reader a view of the situation in multiple perspectives. I love how Sue will tell one tale from her point of view and then Ann will tell the same anecdote in the next chapter. You can really see the similarities between mother and daughter while each individual personality shines through. It’s fun to watch them learn to understand each other as friends.
There is an emphasis on religion as part of both women’s growth throughout the book, but I don’t think that it is overwhelming. The bits of religion or spirituality that are in the book feel more like a college course than a sermon. I personally don't associate with a particular religion and I did not feel like I was being preached to at any point. Rather I felt that I was reading the story of how two women individually developed their own faiths as they were trying to sort out other issues in their lives. I found it engaging and interesting to read.
Overall, this book is a great read for women, especially those of us who are going through the same issues that Sue and Ann each deal with in the book. By no means is this a self-help book, but it will likely put a smile on your face and may even give hope for the future if you need it. Outside of that realm, this book would make an excellent choice for a writer (male or female) who is struggling to find his voice. All in all this is a tremendous book and at the very least read it as a travelogue of beautiful places.
You can read more reviews of Traveling with Pomegranates here.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.