To celebrate her 50th birthday and face the challenges of midlife, Jane Christmas joins 14 women to hike the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Despite a psychic's warning of catfights, death, and a sexy, fair-haired man, Christmas soldiers on. After a week of squabbles, the group splinters, and the real adventure begins. In vivid, witty style, she recounts her battles with loneliness, hallucinations of being joined by Steve Martin, as well as picturesque villages and even the fair-haired man. What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim is one trip neither the author nor the listener will forget.
©2007 Jane Christmas (P)2015 Post Hypnotic Press Inc.
If you're looking for a travel guide, or a new-agey uber positive account of the Camino de Santiago, this is probably not the book for you. If, on the other hand, you can appreciate a sharp, irreverent sense of humor and don't mind the occasional swear word, then you will enjoy this brutally honest description of the trials and tribulations Jane Christmas encountered when she took a very long walk on a whim.
To celebrate her 50th birthday, Jane Christmas announced (on CBC radio) that she was going to walk the Camino de Santiago. Admittedly, she didn't have a firm idea of what this might entail at the time. Nor did she foresee the reaction her announcement would engender. Soon, a group of women had contacted her wanting to join in the fun.
Things sort of snowballed from there, and Jane found herself leading a group of middle-aged women along this pilgrimage. Given that Jane is intolerant of stupidity and shallowness, she soon found the dynamics of the group difficult to bear and eventually she broke off from the group to go it alone. That solved some problems, but also confronted Jane with new issues to overcome, including loneliness and the sheer discomfort of such a long walk.
Her observations are sharp and sometimes less than kind, but Jane is also aware of her own shortcomings, too. The author narrated it herself. Her other memoirs ("The Pelee Project," "Incontinent on the Continent" and "And Then There Were Nuns") were narrated by actors. Some might prefer the professional narration, but I liked both - it is fun to hear her voice her own work.
Sadly I found this very disturbing, so much that I may change my plans to walk the Camino. The author is self absorbed, vicious and angry the entire journey. I kept thinking she would find redemption. I was wrong.
"A must if you are thinking of walking the Camino"
One of my ambitions is to walk the Camino and I think this book has prepared me for the reality of it. It is interesting to listen to the ups and downs of the authors walk. She seems to cope with the actual walking remarkably well, and I'm sure that this would not be the case for everyone. But for me the interesting part was the descriptions of the scenery and fellow travellers, crowded pilgrim hostels and their owners! I think it prepares you for what to expect on the route she chose and to perhaps adapt your plans accordingly!
loved the honesty and quirky way your story was told thank you as I start planning my own camino adventure
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