We first met over coffee and french pastry at one of my favorite neighborhood spots in Chelsea–Maison Du Macaron–where the smell of fresh croissants is totally intoxicating – and got acquainted, sharing stories about life. I had already read Kimberly Meyer’s beautiful essays in Ecotone and The Best American Travel Writing and now I sat in awe as she spoke about the journey she and her college-age daughter Ellie had taken to retrace the footsteps of Felix Fabri, a 15th century Dominican friar. Their modern-day pilgrimage took them to exotic destinations infused with mystery, spirituality, and rich history – from Venice, to the Mediterranean through Greece and partitioned Cyprus, to Israel and across the Sinai Desert with Bedouin guides, to the Palestinian territories and to Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt. Some of these places I’ve traveled to, and others I hope to visit some day, but the depth of her experience had me enchanted. On the purest level it was also about searching for meaning and home and the connection we mothers all seek with our children.
Almost three years later, we celebrate the publication of Kimberly’s luminous debut, The Book of Wanderings. The spare and gorgeous prose will immediately transport you and the early reviews are deservedly wonderful. This blurb from Antonya Nelson may say it best: “The Book of Wanderings is about both the intrinsically private and the universally enduring need for pilgrimage: to the sites that restore and reward, to the experience of wondering and wandering and connecting, whether with family or the whole human race. Meyer brings this insatiable urge to pursue enlightenment of the journey home to the reader. Home to the ordinary suburban American in the very chaotic 21st century. There’s no one who won’t recognize some aspect of herself in these pages. They offer insights both mystical and practical. It is a book to cherish.”
Little Brown has outdone themselves with a gorgeous package that features the most stunningly beautiful endpapers. I hope you’ll treat yourself to a copy of The Book of Wanderings. It’s a journey and experience, I promise, you won’t soon forget.