4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A pilgrimage without belief,
This review is from: A Place to Stop (Paperback)
Susan Wicks's novel is an elegant sequence of connected stories about the people living in a small French town over one summer, though its threads stretch out beyond these limits, making this more than a simple snapshot of everyday lives. At the centre of the novel is the theme of pilgrimage - there's a pilgrim path running through the town - and the characters' paths through life are seen in this light, although theirs is a 'pilgrimage without belief'. The book is full of what Laura, a visitor to the town might describe as 'all kinds of weird phenomena that weren't exactly religious, but couldn't be readily accounted for either. Coincidences. Chains of events that don't seem entirely random and yet appear to be set off totally by chance.' The book wears its underlying theme lightly though, and we are above all engaged by Wicks's storytelling - she is also a poet, and brings to A Place to Stop a strong sense of place and an eye for a telling detail, as well as her enjoyment of working within a symmetrical structure.