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35 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fantastic
When I first read this I was faced with a dilemma; It is such a page turner that I couldn't read fast enough and yet at the same time I did not want it to finish.
You become part of the story and part of the journey and you feel so connected to the characters as their journey unfold. Simply fantastic.
Published on 20 Feb 2010 by J

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting story
As with other reviewers I enjoyed this book and as it is quite a short story I read it in snatches within a couple of days.
The reason for the 3*** was simply that it was so short, I am sure with a bit more thought a lot more could have been added to give the tale more quality as well as quantity. Also the mediocre rating is because of the very poor English and...
Published 13 months ago by M. Cox


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 18 Oct 2010
By 
Mrs Janice White (Notts, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Strangers & Pilgrims (Paperback)
I loved this book some nice twists and turns. I read it several months ago but it's one of those books that I find myself thinking about even now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and inspiring, 14 April 2012
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Strangers & Pilgrims doesn't fit easily into any ready-made categories or genres, and we shouldn't try to place it in any, either. Too many books remain unread because they've been put into little boxes which no-one ever opens.

This book is well-written and moves at its own pace. It won't be hurried. I like that about books, because it allows the reader to be enveloped in the world the writer has created, and not be dragged along, against his or her will, to the next big set piece.

S&P has a real message to convey, one which is all about the hidden strengths we as people have, if we only took the time to recognise them. It's about about hope, not about despair, even if the six characters here appear to have reached the ends of their tether. It's about allowing ourselvbes to be weak, because it's in our ultimate weakness that we recognise our ultimate strength. Whatever the outcome of the book (and I don't want to spoil it), it's one which is entirely generated from the characters' inner selves, from who they are and always have been. It's this that I found a huge inspiration, personally. We are all in charge of our own destines, and have no-one else to blame (or thank) for what we make of our lives.

There is a twist at the end, and one I didn't see coming at all, which made the book even more satisying for me.

Well worth the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangers & Pilgrims, 2 Feb 2012
This review is from: Strangers & Pilgrims (Paperback)
This was such a good book....and clever of the author to bring 6 people together who might never be together ever.
How the mysteries of their lives brought them to the same location and the incidents that culminated to ..well I will not give it away...Well worth the price...It is Ms. Tuffnell's first book that I was aware of...and now I am reading all of her other books I can find!!
She keeps her readers in suspense here.....
Maria Yoppolo ~ Rhode Island ~ USA
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars undeniably inspirational, 31 Jan 2012
I'm not one for writing reviews mostly because I'm just not good at it. In this case, I read the book initially because I noticed a review for one of my own novels by this author and decided to pick up hers. I discovered i really enjoyed her writing style, and I struggled for a long while as to whether I should review the book because I wanted to avoid looking like I was just swapping.

I offer that disclaimer in the spirit of transparency, but the book really needs none.

This story was so inspirational to me. I read it quickly during a few summer days after I first bought it and then opened it up again a few months later because I needed a pick-me-up. For me to read a book twice at all is saying something.--twice in a few months when I have a huge TBR already sitting on my Kindle is quite another.

Ms. Tuffnell's skills lean toward the literary, and while it's not a "Christian" book, it is undeniably inspirational. I felt rejuvenated, much like the characters themselves did by the end.

I won't go into the summary, as it's listed in the blurb and in other reviews. I just wanted to write about how much this novel touched me. Though driven from a point of pain and darkness, the light is very present in this story--so much so that it almost becomes another, periphery, character. It's the yin/yang of despair and enlightenment and it's delivered in a manner that begs the reader to continue.

I cared about these characters, and that matters to me in a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warmed even my cold heart - A true treasure., 31 Jan 2012
For a miserable cynic like myself to be so engaged, and have such love for a book about spirituality, personal transformation and other such jolly platitudes should tell you all you need to know about the mastery of the author and just how wonderful this book is.

Whatever paths you take in life and faith - whether you are a religious individual, indeed spiritual in any way, whether you think with new age philosophies, or indeed whether, like me you are cold and cynical, yet humanistic - This book will speak to you.

A tale of six individuals - wonderfully crafted - with their own unique problems that break their hearts, this book is an exploration of the pain with a Google twist. All of them input the same words into a search engine and find themselves drawn to the same result.

The first part of this book, 'Strangers' focuses on their individuality - and subsequently their isolation - as they all find the same result of their online search and contact the Kafka-esque 'Warden' of a retreat. A device that marries their situations together perfectly, and with intrigue.

The start of the second part, 'Pilgrims' is in stark contrast to the frank pain and misery of the first half. Each one seemingly kicking off their burdens as easily as a pair of shoes at the door and finding a place with just as much ease within a group of people. Indeed, this togetherness, and the notions of humanity is what drove the story for me, as characters talk, share, and experience things together. Each person seems to have lost something of their humanity and slowly each individual - through others - finds a way to piece it back. It is truly heartwarming and touching, and it is a joy to read the characters stories as each one undergoes a transformation for heartbroken husk to human being.

My trepidation at the 'spirituality' of this book was entirely misguided. The characters are magnificently written, and the author has a great knack for vivid description. Also, there are elements of religious, spiritual, new age and humanistic mentalities in every character and in this way it is relatable to all no matter what you believe. When a book can make even a cynic like myself grin with abandon at the end of it, you know the author has done a good job. This book teaches us not only the catharsis of purging our personal guilt, doubts and problems - but also the necessity to do so. And whether you choose a path of God, of spirituality, or alternative healing, massage or yoga, or whether you just decide to confide in other human beings, this book teaches us that it is better to be pilgrims on this journey, than strangers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangers and Pilgrims, 19 Dec 2013
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I have just finished reading this book, I could not put it down brilliant I will bookmark this author X
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but dodgy editing, 13 Nov 2013
By 
Deb (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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A charming story and engaging characters but there were 'multiple' spelling and grammatical errors throughout the book which was distracting and somewhat jolting when reading. Don't know what happened with the editing with this book, poor quality there. It was a shame as the story was a good read. Editors let Vivienne down here!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good!, 18 Aug 2013
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I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the plot was quite unique. The only negative was the amount of errors in the Kindle version! That was a bit annoying and surely must be avoidable if proof read properly. It can divert your attention away from the story which is a shame. Had it not been for that, I would have given it 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 15 Aug 2013
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Love both books written by this author and would recommend. This book is face paced and makes you think about your own life and relationships.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very imaginative, evocative and enjoyable....only the last few pages caused the drop to four stars, 14 Aug 2013
By 
lyndydaisy (Sussex England) - See all my reviews
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Halfway through this book I couldn't wait to come onto Goodreads and give it a five star rave review but the final eighth sadly brought it toppling from its perch for me. However I loved the rest of it so much that I still have to give it four stars.

It was the abrupt ending and what I felt was also a very "corny" ending to such an imaginative story that spoiled it for me. I could forgive what I felt was unbelievably predictable as I am sure some people will like that aspect of the story but it was the "way too soon" ending to the actual story that made me feel let down.

The book could be seen in two halves, the "Strangers" who become the "Pilgrims". I loved the premise which is what drew me to the book. six people, all at the end of their endurance, utter the words "My heart is broken, I am dying inside" and then type it into a search engine. Don't be put off thinking this will be depressing reading, it carries the magic of hope through the first half of the book as we learn each of their stories. The search engine leads them all to what appears to be a retreat with healing waters. I loved the way the same sort of spiritual ritual took them all through this process and by the time the final person found the door with the little nightlight burning in a jam jar on the doorstep, I was completely hooked.

Ms Tuffnell's ability to draw out characters and to bring an environment to life is wonderful. I really felt I was with them in the little cottage by the fire, sheltered from the elements outside. I sat in the candlelight with them all and could see, smell and taste the bubbling macaroni cheese served up for their first supper together.

It was this feeling, that I was on a journey with them all, that suddenly got sidestepped when their time together came to a very unexpected and far too abrupt end. I felt really disappointed and as if I had been left at the cottage waving them all goodbye without understanding why they had gone. I think a lot more could have been drawn out about their healing processes at this point which would have opened up their characters so much more.

It just finished too soon for me and I was particularly disappointed by the last few pages...the aftermath if you like. After such a deep insight into what makes humanity tick, this was, for me, such a let down. But, as I said, this may just be me and you may find the ending just what you want it to be.

Anyway, what I do know is that I loved the story and am not going to let myself be put off by the ending. This lady is a wonderful writer and I look forward to reading more of her books.
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Strangers & Pilgrims
Strangers & Pilgrims by Vivienne Tuffnell (Paperback - 30 April 2011)
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