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Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  8,294 Ratings  ·  1,445 Reviews
An introspective and beautiful dual memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling novelist and her daughter

Sue Monk Kidd has touched millions of readers with her novels The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair and with her acclaimed nonfiction. In this intimate dual memoir, she and her daughter, Ann, offer distinct perspectives as a fifty-something and a twenty-somethin
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Viking Adult (first published January 1st 2009)
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Sort: Default
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the reviews I've read, this book won't appeal to everyone. It wasn't a riveting read, but rather a slow, steady, meditative journal to be contemplated. It appealed to me because of the nuggets I found that caused me to reflect on my own physical, chronological and emotional maturing.

Sue Monk Kidd described her experience of aging, which caused me to reflect on my own experience of morphing from being energetic, lithe, flexible and tireless (well, not so easily worn out) to experiencing phy
Bark's Book Nonsense
I picked this up hoping to experience a trip to Greece through the two authors but instead I'm finding that it is more of navel gazing piece. Sue Monk Kidd is turning fifty and having a difficult time coming to terms with the back end of her life while her daughter Ann is suffering from depression because she wasn't accepted into a program to study Greek history and doesn't know what to do with her life. The two have a conflict free but somewhat distant relationship, they don't connect closely a ...more
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As Sue Monk Kidd begins this memoir, she and I are in a similar place...nearing 50 with a child just graduating from college. I certainly identified with the loss that inevitably comes when a child grows up. As the book progressed however, I found that I identified with Sue less and less. Perhaps it's because I'm not a writer. It just seemed to me that she over analyzed everything: art, dreams, a glance, a thought...I mean to me, sometimes a smile is just a smile. A weird dream simply means I sh ...more
Ellie Revert
Feb 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
I don't like to read these reviews until I've read the particular book, BUT if I had seen so many reviews mentioning the total self-absorption of these 2 women-----mother and daughter----I would have skipped the book altogether!! They were in Europe---were they paying any attention to the idea of how blessed they are to be able to travel together---for generous amounts of time---in a wonderful part of the world? Or is it truly ALL ABOUT THEM???? They both need to "get over yourself!" (I gave thi ...more
Rebecca Foster
In this unusual travel memoir, novelist Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor, a budding writer herself, swap reflections on their travels to sites in Greece and France associated with the sacred feminine and wonder what kind of women they want to be. Taylor’s trip to Greece in college had been life-changing, even giving her the idea of becoming an ancient Greek scholar, but when she was rejected by her chosen graduate school it threw her for a loop and sparked a years-long depression t ...more
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theclosetshelf, own, 2010
Okay -- first thoughts: Sue Monk Kidd is very close in age to me and the timuing of much of what is addressed in this book parallels much of what I've experienced in the same basic timeframe. Relevance? Yes, to a degree. Thoughts on losing the younger self, the dreams which haven't come to fruition vs/in comparison to those which have, the stirrings of the older self, the conflicting scenes of past,present and hopes for the future, the synchromicity and the divides between the flesh and blood mo ...more
Kerry Hennigan
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 liste
Kim Wells
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: foodie-reads
I bought this book thinking it was a fiction book-- it was late and my blurb reading skills were apparently not working well. After a few pages I figured it out, but it was interesting so I kept going, and it got better as I went.

This is a combination travel memoir, mother/daughter journal of sorts. Sue Monk Kidd, who wrote The Secret Life of Bees (which I am now reading) and her daughter Ann explore a spiritual journey they made together that parallels, for them, the Demeter/Persephone mythos.
Kazia Trujillo
It reads similar to "Poisonwood Bible" by B. Kingslover, an exotic location and a stressed mother daughter relationship. However, it misses the mark from being a quarter as interesting.
In the "Poisonwood Bible" she turns a desperate location into a fascinating experience- in "Traveling with Pomegranates" she turns a fascinating location into a desperate experience.
Katharine Holden
Sep 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Navel-gazing in the extreme. Never have I encountered two women more self-absorbed. I mean, the daughter is standing in a cave in France that most of us will never see, surrounded by ancient wall paintings, and she goes off into a lengthy internal monologue about whether she should be a writer or not. She might as well been in a room at the Marriot. And these monologues are repeated endlessly, with much analysis of their dreams. I got so fed up with their pretentiousness and their rudeness. The ...more
I found Sue Monk Kidd's THE DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER so moving and paradigm-shifting that I had awfully high expectations for this book and was somewhat disappointed. On the occasion of Sue's turning 50 and her daughter Ann graduating from college, they go together on a trip to Greece, where their alternating journal entries convey their physical and spiritual journeys, insights and discoveries. The mythical heritage of Greece, including much sacred feminine tradition and especially the m ...more
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, LOVED every word of this book. I don't know if it spoke to me as a mother, a daughter, a woman, or a writer AS MUCH AS it resonated with the lifelong quest we all embark on in search of ourselves. Each author's reflections gave me moments of pause and contemplation. The sentences and words were so lyrical and powerful, I quickly grabbed a highlighter so I could easily recall my favorite passages. An inspiring, uplifting, and incredibly contagious read that I will come back to again.. ...more
Cynthia Davidson
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mothers with daughters...

Having read & enjoyed the Bees book, I was eager to listen to this book, as I had it on CD (from the library). Being read to, by the authors, mother Sue & daughter Ann, is something I'd recommend. Hearing their voices adds to the emotional impact. And, you can do this while traveling yourself, with or without the pomegranates...

Hearing the book, during a five hour drive, to my mothers' house (& back, as the CDs last 9 hours), I was in the right frame of mind to focus on the subject.
3.5 stars
The tale from Greek mythology of Demeter and Persephone, mother and daughter, acts as a theme for this travel story. Ann Kidd Taylor had just received a rejection letter from a graduate program she wished to attend, and was unsure what direction her life should follow. Her mother, Sue Monk Kidd, was trying to adjust to the changes life was throwing her as she turned fifty--from hot flashes to acting on her dream of writing a novel.

Each found inspiration from mythological and historical
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Traveling With Pomegranates” is the mother-daughter story of author Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor. In alternating chapters, mother and daughter detail their evolving relationship as daughter Ann transitions to adulthood and mother Sue deals with the tribulations of aging. Ann and Sue navigate these life changes while vacationing in Greece and France and while at home in South Carolina.

While I had borrowed this book from a friend a while ago, I finally read it this summer when I was in despe
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is billed as a mother-daughter travel memoir from Turkey, Greece and France, but it's more of a self-indugent snooze fest, like reading the diary of someone with a really boring life, who insists on writing ad naseum about it anyway then suggests you might want to read it. Very little, if anything, actually happens in these women's travels - it's all about the internal journey. Note: I'm the first to admit that I'm a plot person. I can definitely appreciate a beautiful turn of phrase a ...more
Susan (aka Just My Op)
Every mother and daughter have distinct stories to tell, and this book proves that not every story has to be about dysfunction, abuse, addiction. Written in alternating chapters by Sue and daughter Ann, the book is interesting and, for the most part, well-written. I liked it but I didn't love it, for the same reason that many people did not like Eat Pray Love: there is so much self-absorption by people of relative privilege.

Sue is turning 50 and becomes almost obsessed with menopause, Old Woman
Sep 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
I REALLY had aspirations of finishing this book but it is incredibly boring. I picked it up because of three reasons:

1)"Secret Life of Bees" was one of my favorites
2)I am intrigued with mother-daughter stories
3)I generally enjoy non-fiction book more than fiction

I started listening to the audio-book (read by both authors mother/daughter) with eagerness, after the first CD I started getting bored. The monotone narration of Sue M. Kidd really made the story flavorless. I was hoping that the daug
Susan Fetterer
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Here I am beginning a review, again, without having finished the book. I'm finding it useful to record impressions, review later and adjust prior judgments and correct possible assumptions. Half-way through the book and I'm enlightened and relating totally to the universal search for meaning, trying to be patient with changes in my own life, finding new spiritual directions, recognizing that things happen for reasons we may need time to understand, and appreciating the importance of readjusting ...more
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, memoirs, 2014
More Ann's work than Sue's (though their chapters are close to equal). Beautiful writing about self discovery. Just ignore the fact that these women get to travel constantly with no financial strain. I loved the bits about Mary as metaphor, and I learned things I won't forget about Greek goddesses. A lovely book to listen to on a drive through Texas during cool weather near dawn.
Oct 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Reading this book was a complete waste of time. Instead of reading this book you should punch yourself in the face. It would be a better use of your time.
Jan 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
I am a firm believer that our true, secret purpose of travel is to learn more about ourselves rather than the places we visit, but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to read someone else's navel gazing ramblings all about themselves. Sadly, that was the focus of this book. I think other reviewers mentioned this, but if you were a fan of books like Eat Pray Love then you'll probably really enjoy this book. Basically, you have two privileged white women traveling to Greece, France, and Turkey wh ...more
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is not just a treasure trove of geographical locations and descriptions, but a personal pair of memoirs from Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter, Ann. Delving back into Sue's writings leaves me with the lingering longing to find the contemplative and deeply spiritual part of me I feel I have lost in the last few years - to experience life in that introspective way that I used to when I first began living a life on my own, and not long afterwards discovered her Secret Life of Bees. You won't ...more
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I am listening to this book on CD and relishing it. Being 55 myself, I could relate to Sue and her search for meaning in her life, learning how to let go of her daughter and still have a relationship with her, and dealing with the struggles of menopause and the pain of being closer to death. I loved the story about how she wrote the first chapter of "The Secret Life of Bees" (one of my favorite books) and the man is charge of her writing workshop said it would never be a good novel so she abando ...more
Gayle Hart
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book the first time I read it, but not as much upon rereading it. I enjoy Greek mythology and really like how the authors move between and interconnect the Greek and Christian traditions. I still found the storytelling compelling and still enjoyed the insights into each writer, I just found the navel gazing a bit much the second time around.

In addition to the navel gazing, the privileged and elitist nature of the writing really came forward for me during the second read. I had no
Susan Johnson
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I just found this book OK and that is diappointing. It could have been so much more. Like other reviewers, I expected more travel talk. I enjoyed the trip Ann took in her student years without Mom. She really made that part come alive especially the dinner at the "non-tourist" restaurant. When I read that, I thought I was in for a good read. Alas, I was wrong.
Adding the mother to the mix didn't help. The two women were so depressed that it seemed like a black fog hovered around them. They went
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
This probably deserves closer to a 2.5. It was just a little too introspective for me. Overladen with the analysis of dreams, myths, and symbolic female figures, the influence of Jungian psychology on Sue Monk Kidd's life is clear. I actually preferred the chapters of the book authored by the daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor, which seemed more honest and down-to-earth. For those interested in Kidd's "The Secret Life of Bees," this book does provide interesting background as to how Kidd came up with som ...more
Jean Marie Angelo
As a woman who had a complex relationship with my mother — sometimes comforting, sometimes broken — this memoir of supportive mother and daughter was like reading about aliens on another planet.

Still, I liked this book. I see some reviews are quite critical. Sue, and her daugher, Ann, are labeled self-absorbed and entitled. After all, how many mother-daughter writing teams can travel the world for long stretches and then spend years writing about it? Still, I have no interest in being snarky. Th
Sep 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
I'm throwing in the towel on this one because I've renewed it several times, force myself to pick it up, placed it in the bathroom and still choose other reading material.

It is self indulgent by not one but two spoiled children. Hoping for a fun armchair trip through Greece, I am weighted down with a morose 50 year old waiting for her impending death and a depressed college student who cannot cope with a rejection of her college application. Instead of trying elsewhere she gives up and travels w
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book, but it's not something I would widely recommend. I liked reading the thoughts of a woman approaching 50 alongside of the thoughts of a woman entering her 20s and the doubts and self-reflection of both stages and how they interconnect, but I can see why others have described it as "navel gazing". I wouldn't say it was that. There were times the book really spoke to me, and those times were worthy and allowed me to forgive the parts of the book I found to be too drawn out. A go ...more
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SUE MONK KIDD was raised in the small town of Sylvester, Georgia. She graduated from Texas Christian University in 1970 and later took creative writing courses at Emory University and Anderson College, as well as studying at Sewanee, Bread Loaf, and other writers’ conferences. In her forties, Kidd turned her attention to writing fiction, winning the South Carolina Fellowship in Literature and the
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“It shocks me how I wish for...what is lost and cannot come back.” 125 likes
“My children have always existed at the deepest center of me, right there in the heart/hearth, but I struggled with the powerful demands of motherhood, chafing sometimes at the way they pulled me away from my separate life, not knowing how to balance them with my unwieldy need for solitude and creative expression.” 33 likes
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