Piper Rose, Dani Shapiro, and Alexandra ‘Tessa’ Louise De Mille Morrow share a history that goes back to their preschool years in Chicago when their families were still intact. Now Piper lives in Evanston with her divorced dad, her estranged, unstable mother popping in and out of her life at random moments. Meanwhile, Dani’s been living in Santa Fe with a psychologist mom pregnant with her fiancé’s IVF babies. The blueblood Tessa resides on a prominent street in Boston and dreams of a romantic and well-heeled love story like that of her great-grandmother who went to France during World War II. Now that it’s the summer before college, these radically different friends decide to celebrate their history and their future by walking the legendary pilgrimage along the Way of St. James, from the French Pyrenees to the Spanish city of Santiago. Along the way, each young woman must learn to believe in herself as well as in her friends, as their collective journey unfolds into the experience of a lifetime. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
Please note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and I voluntarily chose to write a review.
This is a fantastic story about friendship, challenges and, of course, travel. I must admit that I struggled at the beginning to keep the girls apart and at a few points in the book, but generally it I enjoyed the switching narrators. Piper is practical and down to Earth, Dani is an intellectual bookworm and Tessa is a socialite raised to be kind. There are many things going on in each of their lives that they’re trying to juggle yet the Camino brings them all together.
The idea of the Camino in general appeals to me, but each of the girls brings something good to the story with their different perspectives. I particularly like that each of the girls develops throughout the journey and not on a superficial level. Each of them has some false starts, but eventually each of them comes to terms with a variety of things in their lives. I highly recommend this book as a great option when you’re looking for something with a touch of spiritual without being overtly religious.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? Anyone who enjoys a good coming of age novel or is interested in the Camino de Santiago.