Review Title: A Long Walk To Find Oneself (Review of The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser)
Reviewer: Janice S. Garey
***** 5 Stars
Amazing! Simply amazing. Musser has taken several characters and told a story from each of their first person points of view. The synergy emerges as the stories are woven together as in one spectacular tapestry. Love holds it all together although the reader never knows how the love stories will resolve until near the end of the book. Will true love mean letting the beloved go free from the relationship?
I preordered this book because of having previously read a book by this author. I knew I could count on another good story, and my expectations were met and surpassed.
Everything about this book deserves the 5 star rating. The character development, the lovely setting which serves well for a travelogue, the unsolved mystery, the romance stories from three perspectives (young love, middle age love, and mixed up love), faith encounters, and self discovery. This is a complex story that never gets confusing because Musser has great skill in weaving all the bits and pieces together to a believable denouement that readers will delight in long after the final page is read.
One particular subject well covered in the book is an interesting comparison of differences and similarities between Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity. The time spent on the Camino missions trail naturally gives an opening for thoughtful observation on this topic. This is just one example of a sideline item of interest woven in that sets this storytelling on a higher level than similar books.
All the characters change over the time spent on the Camino. Their long walk is a pilgrimage of a lifetime. Their lives are slowed down by the walking pace so they can better take stock of where they have been and where they are going in life. Some characters find a connection with God along the way, too.
I highly recommend this book for YA and older readers.