Joanna (J. F.) Penn’s most recent book Pilgrimage is so poetical. I loved the quotes, I love the fonts of the quotes, and most of all I loved all the probing questions she asks you, the reader. Questions you should certainly consider before setting out on a journey of discovery.
I have, however, some suggestions to offer.
I would have like a diary
I read this book because I was interested in knowing more about Joanna. So I was a bit disappointed to find out that she hadn’t kept a diary (however short) of her pilgrimages. While I enjoyed what little there was, I would have preferred a list of entries enumerating the dates she traveled and what happened on each day.
I would have like some maps
It was also a bit disappointing that no maps were offered. While I have walked 150 miles of the Camino de Santiago myself, I only did the bit between Le Puy-en-Velay and Conques, so I would have enjoyed looking at a map of the part Joanna took.
I think most women would have liked information on walking groups
Most women reading this book are not going to want to do it on their own. Therefore it would be helpful to know which companies to contact so that they can go with other people. I personally can recommend
- Ramblers ~ https://www.ramblersholidays.co.uk/ (I did the Way of St. James with them from Le Puy to Conques in May 2014)
- HF Holidays ~ https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/ (Have been on several walks with them including Cathar Crossing which involved walking from France into Spain via the Pyrenees in the spring of 2016
- Inn Travel ~ https://www.inntravel.co.uk/ I met several travelers doing this while on a trip to Sicily in April 2012 and they were kind enough to let me look at the copious notes provided by the company, which seems to be well-organized and efficient.
I think these companies should be listed as they are reasonably priced and provide all kinds of options for interested travelers
I believe these additions would make the book much fuller and much richer. Four stars.