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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a pilgrim tells the readers
I finished What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim, by Jane Christmas, at 1.30 am yesterday. I just couldn't put it down.

I love everything in that book: the complexion of it, the spirit. It's funny and moving at the same time and even if you can tell that the author is a pious person, she keeps an open and critical mind about her fellow pilgrims (and herself)...
Published on Aug. 31 2007 by Brigitte Amat

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously?
I'm surprised by the reviews I'm seeing. I found this book to be tedious and the author whiny. Page after page is filled with complaints. It is no wonder that she was continuously ditched on this pilgrimage.
Published on June 12 2012 by voracious reader


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a pilgrim tells the readers, Aug. 31 2007
By 
Brigitte Amat - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on SpainŐs Camino de Santiago de Compostela (Paperback)
I finished What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim, by Jane Christmas, at 1.30 am yesterday. I just couldn't put it down.

I love everything in that book: the complexion of it, the spirit. It's funny and moving at the same time and even if you can tell that the author is a pious person, she keeps an open and critical mind about her fellow pilgrims (and herself). Pilgrims are human beings, right? And when human beings are concerned, anything is to be expected and the book is indeed rich in (mis)adeventures.

The book, of course, is about the author's personal experience, but it says so much about the way we humans are - and so much about the Camino itself from an historical and geographical perspective - that even though I'm a "veteran" of the Camino myself, I think that anybody who hasn't walk it will enjoy it! And maybe even walk it one day or another, because, as they'll see, some miracles seem to be still possible after all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Life-Changing Experience, Feb. 9 2008
By 
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on SpainŐs Camino de Santiago de Compostela (Paperback)
I don't know what compelled me to read this book other than the fact that the covered mentioned something about Spain's Camino - one of the world's biggest networks of pilgrimages. Like Lourdes in the south of France, the Camino (a trio of lengthy treks to the putative sepulcher of St. James) attracts tens of thousands of hikers every year. Some are the faithful who want to draw closer to God through acts of penance, while others simply turn-up for the challenge of trudging 750 kilometers through mountainous terrain on the way to Santiago. Since this annual affair has been going on for hundreds of years, the Spanish population is well prepared to provide various degrees of hospitality for the sojourners. I even discovered a number of websites that help out-of-towners make travel arrangements to the starting line on the French side of the Pyrenees. Christmas' story is one of a wild adventure that went way beyond her initial expectations for taking the journey. Going through a mid-life crisis in Canada, resulting from a failed marriage, Christmas decided to organize a group of friends to accompany her on the roughest stretch of the Camino. For the next month or so her story unfolds along the lines of learning to adjust to the biggest challenge in her life to date: finding God in herself. As Christmas struggles to overcome the aches and pains, the fear and loathing, and the growing sense of disillusionment, she gradually learns to look outside herself and her little group of so-called friends to find a whole new world beckoning her. While the Spanish countryside and its many decrepit little villages may not possess the spiritual values that she is idealistically looking for to get her life going again, they contain a strong sense of newness and vitality that will challenge her time-worn sensibilities. By the end of the pilgrimage, she has become a transformed person who relates more effectively with people outside her traditional bailiwick, and can begin to take risks with her emotions. There is a lot of fun and high spirit in this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Need to Read this!, Oct. 29 2009
By 
Mrs. Nancy M. Leblanc "mosesmew" (Yarmouth Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on SpainŐs Camino de Santiago de Compostela (Paperback)
A few short months ago,I was introduced to this wonderful book/guide. I couldn't put it down, Liked it so much I to am preparing myself to walk,"The Camino de Santiago"! In fact I'm going in August/September of 2010! Jane has put so much inspiration/Love & Humour in this amazing read,you feela as though you're there with her! She has kept hersanity through the ,"bitching/cat fights/blisters &her fearlessness,(to take on such a long journey),physicaly,is one thing. But to take on your "inner-self", is another more bumpy journey! Thank-you Jane! Blessings Nancy
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book, Oct. 16 2009
This review is from: What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on SpainŐs Camino de Santiago de Compostela (Paperback)
Jane Christmas is fast becoming my favourite author. Her first book, "The Pelee Project" was an outstanding memoir of a three-month sabatical on Pelee Island, Ontario with one of her three children. I read it in one weekend! What the Psychic...is even better and funnier and more probing. You can literally feel the pain and angst she suffered along with the comic moments. I read it in one weekend. Because of her, I have registered for Spanish lessons and am getting in shape to walk the Camino. Thank you Jane for inspiring so many people. I look forward to reading her third and current book, "Incontinent on the Continent". I plan on reading it this weekend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously?, June 12 2012
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This review is from: What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on SpainŐs Camino de Santiago de Compostela (Paperback)
I'm surprised by the reviews I'm seeing. I found this book to be tedious and the author whiny. Page after page is filled with complaints. It is no wonder that she was continuously ditched on this pilgrimage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, June 2 2012
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This review is from: What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on SpainŐs Camino de Santiago de Compostela (Paperback)
Very engrossing. Jane has a very incisive sense of humor. I read the book in two days as I could not out it down! 5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The rereading of a happy distant journey, June 1 2010
By 
Clement Pauze (Blainville, Qc, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on SpainŐs Camino de Santiago de Compostela (Paperback)
The main reason I bought this book was curiosity.
And it was a great choice. I walked a little less than
300km on the Camino in 1996. Reading Ms Christmas'
experience was the next best thing to walking the Camino
again, minus the blisters. I would recommend that any
audacious souls who want to live that experience should
read What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim prior to their
departure.

Since I am French speaking, I purchased the book from
Amazon and read it with my best friend, the English-French
dictionary.

All the experiences on the Camino are highly
personal. As a man, I was very much interested in reading
a woman's point of view. The pain and blisters on the feet
seems the same, lodging in the shelters is the daily
surprise for both sexes, the dynamic among women
travelling together is dreadfully different from my manly
experience. Like the refugios along the Camino, the
characters/pilgrims are all different and offer unique
gifts or unique headaches.

The narrative is inspired, the metaphors humorously
sparkling with genuine insight that illuminate that
wonderful experience. The scenery through Christmas' eyes
is evocative and superb. You almost feel as if you are
walking beside the author. Don't miss the real
love-friendship story developing in the story.

The return to normal life is always difficult, either
by walking the Camino or reading What the Psychic Told the
Pilgrim. Prepare for it; it is addictive. The result is
highly entertaining: it offers a new perspective in life,
a new love-friendship relation for Christmas and for many
pilgrims; an inspirational read for you, or the rereading
of a happy distant journey for me. Everybody can find
something in this book to which they can relate.

Clement Pauze
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5.0 out of 5 stars What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim, June 3 2014
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This review is from: What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on SpainŐs Camino de Santiago de Compostela (Paperback)
What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim
A Midlife Misadventure on Spain’s Camino de Santiago de Compostela

Jane Christmas possesses an easy style that is infused with humor. For example, she begins her novel: “Impulse is intuition on crack." It is her humor that sees her through this incredibly taxing 800 km pilgrimage through Spain.

Christmas decides to walk the Camino on a whim. She is in need of a unique way to mark her impending fiftieth birthday. An air steward on a WestJet flight from Hamilton to British Columbia, happens to mention that he and his wife “… - there always seems to be a wife -…” (4) walked the Camino for one of their holidays, and just like that Christmas is off. I felt a pang of envy at her financial ability to go to the Camino in matter of months when I have been plotting to make the pilgrimage for more than a decade – and to make it on my own.

She spends the next pages divulging how she came to be part of a group eager to make the pilgrimage, and how she trained along the Bruce Trail in preparation for her hike.

In Chapter 2 she consults a physic who tells her a few things: to be frugal (she will be gone for more than a month and not working – duh?), not to take jewelry (she will be hiking in sludge for more than a month and staying in communal hostels – double-duh), that she will meet two female celebrities on the trail, that she will do a similar trip in the future, that the women in the group will become a problem (I could have told her that for free), that she will experience a death while she is away, and that she will be tanned and fit by the end of it (she will be hiking 800 km under the Spanish sun – thanks for the tip psychic sister).

The psychic mentions a fair-haired man and the fact the Jane will remarry and have another home soon. She also tells Christmas that she will enjoy a positive change on the job front. As a reader, I enjoyed this beginning and read hungrily to see what if any predictions came true.

Her description of the refugios are likely the most authentic of any book I have ever read about the Camino. Her use of simile is effective. “I shook off the rain like a dog” (167). She also beautifully describes the beauty of the countryside as well as the unpleasant aspects of the walk like the knee deep mud mixed with dog s*** in which they become stuck. She describes the lack of refugio accommodations for pilgrims, which I found shocking.

She makes mention of events in the area. “You may be familiar with the running of the Bulls…” (95). She also underwrites events of historical significance. “In 1119, just after the First Crusade….around the same time, the pilgrim trade was booming” (215). These are interesting and essential to the narrative.

The book is the best I have read about the Camino. It is an honest account of the trials and tribulations of the trek. Her humor and warmth make such a harsh journey bearable.

I highly recommend this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars intresting, March 16 2014
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I liked the daily grind it expressed with the beauty around just like everyday life. There is the same old things and the wonderful things that make our lives complete.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting misadventure, Jan. 21 2014
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What led me to read this book, besides that it was written by Jane, was an interest in the Camino trail.
I love journeys and hikes and discovering new places. Her wit was enjoyable.
However, I could sense an impending disaster right from the get-go! Who in their right mind would undertake a journey like this, especially a Pilgrim with a bunch of women!!??
She demonstrated great determination. As in her adventures in the convent, she seemed to be very unsettled about her place in life. I learned much about the Pilgrimage by other people who seemed to have a more tranquil experience.
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