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The promised land
2021
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Library Journal Review
Abbie is a type A perfectionist who has worked hard to build a good life for her husband and two sons. In the space of a few pages, however, her husband says he wants a separation and both of her boys leave the nest. Reeling from all the changes, Abbie consults a spiritual adviser and decides to do something completely out of character--hike the Camino pilgrimage trail in France. A motley cast of characters, all with their own problems, join her for the physical challenge that winds up stripping away distractions and revealing damaged souls. Told from many diverse points of view, including an Iranian refugee reliving a much darker trek, Musser's (Waiting for Peter) narrative takes readers for a journey both through the rugged French countryside and through the jagged edges of the human psyche. VERDICT There is a lot going on in this book, including an unusual plot and strong characterization. Faith elements are interwoven in a subtle but clear way. Fans of Michele Phoenix and Lauren K. Denton will appreciate this distinctive story of the human journey.--Christine Barth, Scott Cty. Lib. Syst., IA
Publishers Weekly Review
Characters from Musser's The Long Highway Home return in this touching story of four pilgrims walking the French Camino. Abbie Jowett has always micromanaged her life, but when her sons graduate from high school and her husband decides he needs a break from their marriage, she loses all sense of control. Meanwhile, her son Bobby is traveling during a gap year and in Vienna meets Rasa, a former Iranian refugee who captures his heart. When he asks Rasa to join him on the Camino, Rasa is reluctant, but agrees to join once Abbie decides to embark the pilgrimage as well as be their chaperone. Also along for the trek is Bobby's friend Caroline Lefort, who makes the trip to report on the Camino and take photos for an online paper. She is a woman without faith, still reeling from the disappearance of her best friend seven years earlier. Walking the Camino challenges all of them to face the pain in their hearts and teaches them important lessons on community, friendship, and trust in God. While this works as a standalone, readers will only fully appreciate the arc of the characters if they've read The Long Highway Home. Karen Kingsbury fans will want to take a look. (Nov.)
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