Traveling with pomegranates: a mother-daughter story
I was drawn to this book firstly because of its title, travel and pomegranates are both favourites, and because of the mother daughter theme.
The book is an account of the travels in Greece, Turkey, and France, of Sue Monk Kidd, author of The secret life of bees, and her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor. This is an introspective book, with both women reflecting on personal issues : Sue coming to terms with turning fifty, which she seems to consider as growing old, and Ann struggling with depression and her own sense of failure because she wasn’t accepted into the degree of her choice.
There are chapters of the book I really loved, including Sue and Ann’s visit to the medieval city of Rocamadour, which I have recently visited’ and found to be a truly a magical place. Sue describes Rocamadour perfectly, “clamped against a rugged four-hundred-ninety-foot cliff that rises out of the valley like some mystical province in the clouds. The Alzou River surrounds it like an old moat, the gorge floats in thin, austere haze, and the churches and houses appear to be bolted directly to the rock face. Crowning the summit is an actual fouteenth-century castle complete with ramparts.”
Rocamadour also has a nine-hundred-year old Black Virgin, one of the many venerable Madonnas of Europe and the main focus of the trip for Sue; for Ann it’s the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone and Joan of Arc. The amount of detail about feministic icons and their fixation on the Virgin Mary is tiresome at times and there is a bit too much navel gazing for my taste.
Their recounting of inner journeys, experiences in finding themselves and their potential to accomplish their dreams, including writing this book, somewhat made up for the obsession with mythology and feminist icons. The book is beautifully written and offers an insight into the writing of The Secret Life of Bees. I would not label the book as a must read, but it is interesting…especially if you are a mother with a daughter and like travelling and pomegranates.
Go ahead and read it and see what you think. I would be interested to know.