Traveling With Pomegranates – Book Review

By Carol / May 17, 2012 /

Demeter & Persephone

Every stage of life presents risks, offers opportunities to step out of our comfort zones, to find meaning for our lives, but the significance feels greater as we transition from childhood to adulthood and for women as we traverse menopause. In Traveling With Pomegranates, a dual memoir, Sue Monk Kidd (author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair) and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor share their journeys through this rough terrain. 

As they travel together through Greece and France on trips that span seven years, we see each woman struggle with her own demons of depression, fear, uncertainty, and aging. At the same time, they see the typical mother/daughter barriers that exist between them, barriers that keep them from sharing and trusting and helping each other as they wish they might.

The Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, a mother and daughter separated and reunited, becomes a recurring motif for the lives of these two women, each of whom finds meaning in the myth as well as other Greek, French and Christian icons, including Athena, Joan of Arc, and Mary.

As I read this memoir, I found myself relating to both mother and daughter. As a woman of a ‘certain age,’ I have struggled with a similar sense of loss as I realize I have fewer years ahead of me than I’ve lived so far. What is the meaning of my life going forward? As a writer, I have faced uncertainty and fear as I committed myself to this new career, moving from business writing to memoir and now to fiction. Can I write anything of value? As a daughter, I fought to overcome the communication barriers my mother and I experienced. Now that she is gone, I am grateful for the time we had but the things we can no longer say tear at my heart.

Traveling With Pomegranates is a beautiful combination of travelogue, spiritual journey, mother/daughter love, and personal growth. In alternating chapters, the two authors visit the same scenes, but the perspectives are so unique, the insights shared so personal, I always felt as though what I was reading was remarkable and new. This mother/daughter look at life changes, discovering who you are and who you want to be, and exploring how you get there at different stages in your life is wonderfully written, poignant, and insightful. Well worth the read. 

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  1. Doreen McGettigan on May 18, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Great review. Thought provoking…

  2. Carol Bodensteiner on May 18, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Thank you, Doreen. This was a book that struck right at my heart.

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