Author: Lucy K. Pick
Publisher: Cuidono Press
Publish Date: July 7, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the author.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "The last thing Gebirga
of Flanders remembers seeing is the argument between her parents that
ended in her mother’s death. In the years since, she has learned to
negotiate her family’s castle of Gistel as a blind woman but everyone
assumes that one day her home will be the convent founded in her
mother’s honor. An accidental encounter offers another path, and Gebirga
flees her callous family with a pack of pilgrims that includes a
count’s daughter bound for marriage, two clerics writing a guidebook,
and a mysterious messenger with an unknown agenda, all headed along the
pilgrimage road to Compostela. The journey takes Gebirga from her home
on the edge of the North Sea across the kingdoms of France and into the
Iberian Peninsula, where her mission to escort a young noblewoman
becomes a dangerous adventure involving power-hungry kings and queens
and even the Roman Pope. But can a blind woman navigate the shoals of
international politics? To find a place where she can belong, Gebirga
must learn there are other ways of seeing the truth than with her eyes.
most of twelfth-century Europe, Spain was a far-off and exotic place,
home to the holy site of Compostela, shrine of Saint James. The saint’s
tomb drew a perpetual wave of pilgrims, coming for adventure, or seeking
a miracle from the saint. Pilgrimage is the story of one of those
My Two Cents:
"Pilgrimage" is the story of Gebirga of Flanders who has lost both of her parents. She feels a little bit adrift and isn't really sure what her life holds for her. The time is 12th century and therefore there not very many options open for women. She ends up joining a flighty young woman on a pilgrimage to Spain to follow the Way of St. James. This is a fascinating historical fiction that took me to a time and a place that I have seldom visited in my reading.
Characters are so important to me in my books! This book has a great main character! Not only is Gebirga a woman in a man's world, she is also blind which makes her life incredibly difficult during that time period. Her opportunities are even more limited because of what she cannot see. I loved this character. She is absolutely fascinating. The way that the author let us readers into her innermost thoughts really sold me on her. She's definitely a character that you're cheering for and hoping that everything will turn out well for throughout the book.
The writing of this book was good. Again, like I said before, I haven't read a whole lot of historical fiction set in the 12th-century and I really enjoyed getting to see the era through this book. The author includes a lot of historical detail that brought to life the pilgrimage that so many people took to travel to Spain, following the way of St. James. The idea of a pilgrimage is sort of foreign to me. I've read a little bit about them but I thought that the way that this book describes a pilgrimage with such detail really made me understand why people would be driven to go on a pilgrimage. The author makes Gerbirga's life come to life. This book is a treat for historical fiction fans! I am excited to see other books that the author comes out with in the future!