The Promised Land
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: The Promised Land
Author: Elizabeth Musser
Series: The Swan House Series, book 3
Major Themes: Camino, Pilgrimage, Christian Fiction
Synopsis: Abbie ends up walking the Camino in France and Spain after her world falls apart and she discovers that she can no longer control everyone around her.
Often I take a chance on a review book and request one that sounds interesting, but I have never heard of the author before. The Promised Land is one such book. I chose it because I have never seen a book set along the Camino, although I have heard of that pilgrimage. Also, I liked that the description sounded like this was not a romance story. It turns out that there is some romance in it, but I like that it is not the main focus.
Abbie has been married for 20 years. Her life is perfectly held together, and she is in control. Until one day, her oldest son, Bobby, announces that he’s taking a gap year instead of going on to the school he (or was it she?) had chosen. And her husband informs her that he needs a break, and he’s going to live in Chicago, on his own, for three months—or more. And, her father’s health is failing. Suddenly, her perfect life has unraveled. What can she do about it? The spiritual director that she starts going to see tells her that the first step is to find Abbie again. What?! That’s not the problem—the problem is that no one will do what Abbie wants them to!
Then, Bobby drops a bombshell. He is planning to walk the Camino, a pilgrimage through France and Spain, with an Iranian refugee woman, Rasa, he met in Vienna. Of course, that is a bad idea, so Abbie decides she is going along. Caroline joins them as well. Although Abbie, Bobby, and Rasa are Christians, Caroline is not, and she is still trying to unravel a mystery from some ten years earlier, and a relationship she is somewhat tangled up in. Can the four of them find any sort of healing and restoration on their pilgrimage? Will Abbie even survive the walk—or will her feet give out on her?
The Promised Land alternates viewpoints, with Abbie, Bobby, and Caro all narrating the story. It is told entirely in 1st person, present tense, no matter which character is speaking, but so well done that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and had a hard time putting it down. Each section has the name of the person at the beginning, so it is very easy to follow. Each of the people has different things they need to learn about themselves and their relationships with other people. I found this story fascinating and inspiring, as each person worked through his or her problems. I really enjoyed reading about the Camino, as well—it sounds like a fascinating pilgrimage!
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: By golly and heck are used several times, and dang once.
Links to buy this book:
Keywords: France, Spain, Camino, Pilgrimage, Christian Fiction, 21st Century History, Europe, Books for Women, Inspirational Fiction