I received a free copy of Pilgrim Footprints on the Sands of Time from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my honest review.
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About the Author:
Pilgrim Footprints on the Sands of Time is really two books in one; it’s the tale of the pilgrimage to Compestelo de Santiago and a love story that spans time. One story is a bit dry and the other is a bit better and at times it felt like I was reading two different books.
The remaining members of the FitzUrse family are directed to make the pilgrimage because one of their name was amongst those who killed Thomas Becket. The pilgrimage was designed by the church to garner “credits” as it were against time in Purgatory – that Catholic holding cell before one can gain entrance into Heaven. The dogma is crazy and I’m not going to go into it here but before the Reformation the church made many a dollar with people buying their loved ones out.
Young William Beaumont is desirous of becoming a doctor and through circumstances he ends up going on the Pilgrimage with the FitzUrses as a helper. He and young Alicia fall in love. Their story is very interesting and is full of passion and twists and turns and heartbreak. They are committed to one another through time – no matter what. But of course once declarations like that get made one knows that something will come along to present problems. A fortune teller tells them that they are indeed meant to be together but it is not yet their time. I did enjoy the parts of the book that told the tale of these two but would have liked it to come to its promised conclusion. It was left hanging and that was frustrating and disappointing.
The story of the pilgrimage itself was dry. They went here, they saw that, they ate this. It was cold. They went here, they saw that….There was minimal description of what has to be some glorious scenery. It read flat as most long strings of declarative sentences will. I just wanted so much more from this part. There is an excellent story here it was just missing some umph. It also needed some editing – at one point the group bought a half cooked chicken. I suspect (and hope) they were buying half a cooked chicken.
There are good bones here; when the story is about the people it has true moments of magic but once they got on the road it faltered. This was a fascinating period in history and so very many people made these walks to try and find their way to heaven. It should not make for a dry novel.
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