Kerry Hennigan's Reviews > Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother and Daughter Journey to the Sacred Places of Greece, Turkey, and France

Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd
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Aug 27, 11

Read in August, 2011

Ann Kidd Taylor had intended her first book to be an account of her travels in the company of her mother, Sue Monk Kidd, best selling author of The Secret Life of Bees. Together mother and daughter had explored the places in Greece and France sacred to women – and especially three very specific women: the Virgin Mary, Athena and Joan of Arc.

Each of these iconic females, as depicted in literature, folk lore, icons and statuary, has much to reveal to modern women, if only we take the time to listen – and learn. For Sue, there are lessons to be learned in having the courage to put her seemingly fanciful ideas for a novel down on paper – then showing it to an agent and risking rejection.

It is also about facing up to getting older, of having health issues like volatile blood pressure, of being the daughter of an elderly mother, of being the mother of a young woman struggling with depression caused by her own experience of rejection.

Ann’s depression is symptomatic of her disappointment in not being eligible for the career she’d always dreamed of. She feels lost and directionless. She also has to decide whether or not to be reunited with the dashing young Greek she met on a previous trip while she has a fiancé she adores waiting for her back home.

The dual voices of the narrative provide the perspective of both sides of the mother/daughter relationship, providing passages of text that at times are illuminating.

Travelling with Pomegranates is not about two women visiting the famous tourist haunts of Europe. Rather it is the story of a quest for understanding – of the self and the other, for the experience of the numinous in both expected and unexpected places, and how it can lead to realizing long-held dreams and discovering totally new ones.

Kerry Hennigan © August 2011
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