Walking Home, by Sonia Choquette

If I ever decide to take a long excursion on foot, whether it be the Pacific Crest Trail or the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain, I know one thing I’ll do first. Break in those walking boots.

Because aching feet are just not fun. Sonia Choquette found out the hard way. In her one month plus pilgrimage, she always felt her feet were “on fire.” Ouch. But she also found out much more.

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In Walking Home: A Pilgrimage from Humbled to Healed, the author describes the long walk/hike on the Camino, taken after the deaths of two close family members and the breakup of her marriage. Would the solitary hike leave her feeling healed and whole again?

Her one companion on this journey is a rubbery, green, six-inch figure named Gumby. Her childhood friend, Gumby serves as a totem of sorts, providing a sounding board to the author’s ups and downs. Some days he gets to ride up front, clipped into her backpack. Other days he’s unceremoniously stuffed into a pocket, like a set of car keys. Everyone who sees the little feller smiles.

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It takes a while for Choquette to find her rhythm on the trail, and in her book. Each night is a new town, different hostel and a varying diet of food and human company. She meets Camino Patrick, a doppelganger of her ex-husband, also named Patrick. A smooth talking Greek puts the moves on her after a few glasses of wine. A frantic woman loses her wallet and calls off the hike, just like that.

There are wonderful innkeepers, and terrible ones. A simple thing like an elevator after a hard day’s hike can represent a major miracle.

Also there are churches, many of them, along the way. They serve as a shelter from bad weather, a place to rest the feet and soothe a hurting soul.

Ever since I saw The Way, a movie starring Martin Sheen, I’ve been interested in this trek. I might make it there someday. Now that I’ve read this book, I feel more prepared to take it on. I’m hoping it doesn’t take a major life change to nudge me there, but even that might be okay.

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About meremention

Resident of the Granite State, I am a freelance writer who also toils as a research analyst.
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3 Responses to Walking Home, by Sonia Choquette

  1. undersquid says:

    Where do I begin? Firstly, welcome back to the blogging world! Secondly, I enjoyed this entry of yours for more than one reason.

    I love to walk, and miss trekking up mountains, and South American pilgrimages. I would love to take my son to one, and Sonia Choquette’s notion to find some relief from grief or distress through a long walk, hits me right in the brain bone. But wait, there’s more! I looked her up, because I’d never heard of her, and at first I hesitated, as thought I wasn’t going to like what I would find. I’m not a churchy religious type anymore. But her approach looks like it’s exactly what I need to help me, or even just inspire me to get a fix on how to manage some crap happening in my life right now. I’m very thankful to you for being the vector to that through your review!

    Then, there’s the fact that it simply looks like an entertaining book. I’ll have to check it out as well. I’m very interested in her actual or imagined interactions with that little doll. I find that charming, and right up my alley. Just imagine how much fun it would be to take a little doll with me on a trip, and give it voice, and make a journal of “our” experiences! I love that idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • meremention says:

      Thanks for the welcome back. I may have gotten a bit rusty writing reviews because I meant to do more review and not just describe the book. I did find it entertaining, but there were also stretches where the author is basically thinking about stuff as she walks. That’s okay, but if it goes on for more than a page I begin to get restless. I also looked her up (on FB) and might read her again; there are so many books to choose from.

      Liked by 1 person

      • undersquid says:

        I don’t see any rust. And what you are further describing makes it sound like a very relaxing book to read. I need that right now. Also, the churches! I’m not “churchy” as I mentioned, but I adore churches. I visit them as often as I can. I’ll enjoy reading about her own visits to churches.

        Liked by 1 person

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