A nurse chronicles her sometimes-arduous journey: tackling a monthlong hike on the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
Shortly after graduating from a Texas high school in 1978, debut author Zamora decided it was her calling to be a nurse. She was distracted the first couple of years by an unexpected surgery and her father’s death. Fortunately, she persevered by rigorously studying along with caring for her firstborn child and working as a waitress. After enjoying a successful nursing career and raising three daughters, Zamora was in her 50s when she embarked on her most challenging adventure. She spent eight months preparing for a trek on the Camino de Santiago, beginning in Bilbao and ending in Santiago some 420 miles away. But about a week into the hike, she faced an obstacle: pain in her feet and ankles that soon became nearly unbearable. Though the author started the odyssey alone, she encountered and befriended people on the same route. A devout believer in God, she saw her fellow travelers as angels, who gifted her such things as walking sticks and anti-inflammatory cream. As she regularly prayed and asked for God’s help, Zamora, despite enduring frequent bouts of pain, was determined to reach her destination. The author’s unshakable positivity makes this book an easy, enjoyable read. She fills her pages with biblical Scriptures and her heartfelt poetry, including “If Heaven Had a Telephone,” which she wrote for her father. But the most radiant aspect of the recollection is Zamora herself; her prayers overflow with gratitude, and she’s clearly appreciative of the people helping her. The book’s lively descriptions proficiently recount the Spanish sights (equating a “tiny church” with “a giant castle, a magnificent fortress,” and “a spiritual palace”) and her aching feet (stepping on “invisible knives”). The author rounds out her inspiring work with personal black-and-white photographs as well as a mileage count (per chapter titles) to show her progress.
A pilgrimage account by a woman whose beliefs—and prose—remain strong and encouraging.