Author: Kim Wright
The Canterbury Sisters is a wonderfully warm truth-telling tale filled with the deep stories of a group of women who walk along the ancient pilgrims’ trail from London to Canterbury. The journey they travel is both physical and spiritual. Each day as they travel they tell a story that reveals some part of their own lives. The stories tell truths about their lives that sometimes they had never revealed before. Or, they tell a story of others, a story that resonates with their own truth. We as the reader travel alongside them. In so doing are drawn into their lives in such a way that we are invited to remember our own stories, feeling our laughter and tears mingle with these pilgrims.
The plot brings a simple balance to the rich storytelling. The main character Che has just lost her mother to cancer and feels compelled to follow her mother’s wish to take her ashes to Canterbury. Che begins in London where she joins a newly formed group of seven other women. They are led by a professional guide, a a young college professor, who frames each day with her knowledge of the path from Southwark to Canterbury. During the six day walk, they develop their own story as they travel. All that they experience is folded into the journey, including the rough terrain. the views of green fields, historic sites and Oast Houses, the weather, and the tastes and smells that echo the journey taken by Chaucer’s pilgrims long ago. The richness of the story builds to real drama as they arrive, at last, at the magnificent Canterbury cathedral.
This is a beautiful telling of these Canterbury Sisters finding themselves made whole. It is not a finding of false perfection, but of an earthy reality of beauty even in the flaws of life.
I loved this simply written but profound story. It belongs on my bookshelf of best loved books.
Ollie Rating: 5 Meows out of 5