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The Canterbury Sisters (2015)

by Kim Wright

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11518189,445 (3.97)5
Che Milan's life is falling apart. Not only has her longtime lover abruptly dumped her, but her eccentric, demanding mother has recently died. When an urn of ashes arrives, along with a note reminding Che of a half-forgotten promise to take her mother to Canterbury, Che finds herself reluctantly undertaking a pilgrimage. Within days she joins a group of women who are walking the sixty miles from London to the shrine of Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.… (more)
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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Delightful! I slowed down my reading pace as I went along, just so it wouldn't be over. Some bits didn't hold together as well as I might have liked in the end, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the ride. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
After having read two of this author's books this month, I think I can say that I found a new author to have a permanent spot on my TBR list.

In this story, Che somewhat reluctantly sets off on a journey to walk the Canterbury trail.

Her mother has just died and left her ashes for Che to scatter in Canterbury.
Che would have been less likely to go if her boyfriend hadn't just broken up with her. Way too soon after her mom's death, her boyfriend of six years leaves her for someone else. He breaks up with her via letter.

Che is feeling all alone in the world, her parents are both gone and she has no other family.

In a moment of sadness, she decides to do the walk.
She gets roped into a tour group of women who are all there for their own reasons. Each woman seems to be seeking either forgiveness or healing, possibly both.

As they walk, they share stories.

I thought this was beautifully written. My favorite detail of the book was how clearly Che's voice was written. She's not written vaguely, you really feel like you understand her point of view.
I also loved how the other characters were defined through Che's eyes. I found this very unique, Che admitting her little tricks for remembering their names. Clever ofcourse because it helps the reader remember the names and details too.

I enjoyed this tale of healing. I will absolutely be looking for more books by this author. ( )
  Mishale1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
This was a beautiful book. The writing was superb and the story was touching, funny and thought provoking.

I loved Che. I felt a deep connection to her. I understood her connection to her mother but also her frustration with her mother and some of the choices that she had made. I also loved all of the secondary characters, the rest of the “Canterbury Sisters” and I loved how they evolved throughout the book and how the author used the telling of stories of love to show each person’s character.

This book is perfect for women-for daughters and for mothers-because I think that the mother-daughter relationship is probably one of the most difficult relationships to understand. I think most women will enjoy this book because at one time or another, we all have complicated relationships with our mothers. Wright did a fantastic job illustrating that complication.

I have no criticism of this book at all. It was so good and I will recommend it to anyone who will listen to me.
( )
  SoccerMomKnits | Jan 22, 2018 |
After the death of her mother, Che receives a letter from her longtime boyfriend saying he's leaving her for another woman. In the same batch of mail, Che is notified of her mother's last wishes including the request that Che complete their unfulfilled plans of hiking the Canterbury trail in England. Not wanting to confront the breakup and exhausted from work, Che jumps on a plane to achieve her mother's last request. During the hike Che is taken in by a group of women doing the same hike and they all exchange stories, wisdom, and lessons of healing. A great novel of discovery, healing, and bonding, this was a wonderful read.

Sarah M. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.
( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
The Canterbury Sisters
By Kim Wright

I’ve taught British Literature for years, so this book was written just for me! Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his Canterbury Tales hundreds of years ago about a group of travelers passing time with stories during their journey. In this modern tale, a group of nine women take a hiking tour along the Canterbury Trail and each tells her story along the way.

Che (pronounced Shay) has just lost her mother and her boyfriend, so she decides to take a pilgrimage to Canterbury to fulfill her mother’s request. She leaves everything behind, including her phone, and begins the sixty mile journey to the cathedral. As each woman tells her tale, secrets are revealed, lies untold, and bond are made. The novel included mother/daughter relationships, first love, marriages, forgiveness, self-blame, survival, silence, fairy tales, Greek Mythology, and reality TV. While there were similarities to Chaucer’s original tales, it’s not necessary to have read them; the characters didn’t.

Each voice told a different story in a different perspective, and each tale had something to offer to the reader. Each stop on the journey added a bit a magic to the trip. The stories remind us that it’s not the destination that matters; it’s the path to get there.

Maybe each person is taking “a few steps toward Canterbury, every day, no matter where in the world” he happens to be.

I received an ARC from Netgallery in exchange for an honest review.
( )
  laura.w.douglas | Mar 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
It is better to travel well than to arrive.
—Buddha
Dedication
To my mother, Doris Mitchell, who made so many journeys possible
First words
You know that old Chinese curse that goes "May you live in interesting times?" I've always thought the modern-day corollary was "May you have an interesting mother."
Quotations
I say this all the time, that the church is the enemy of the spirit, which I suppose makes me sound a bit like Diana’s friend David, but here… here in this chapel of dragons and Saturn and wilting chrysanthemums and sleeping cats and good solid neighbors, I feel myself calming. Something in me starts to loosen.
I could try meditation of course. It’s the most obvious balm of my generation and it’s always waiting there in the wings with an accusing expression on its face, standing right beside vegetarianism and recycling and supporting local merchants and paying off credit card debt. All the modern puritanical values we’re supposed to embrace, those virtues that make some people better than others.
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Che Milan's life is falling apart. Not only has her longtime lover abruptly dumped her, but her eccentric, demanding mother has recently died. When an urn of ashes arrives, along with a note reminding Che of a half-forgotten promise to take her mother to Canterbury, Che finds herself reluctantly undertaking a pilgrimage. Within days she joins a group of women who are walking the sixty miles from London to the shrine of Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.

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