Traveling with Pomegranates
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• Published by Viking, 2009
• New York Times Bestseller
• Co-authored with Sue’s daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor
In this wise and engrossing dual memoir, Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter Ann chronicle their travels together through Greece, Turkey, and France at a time when each was on a quest to redefine herself and rediscover one another.
Sue, newly aware of aging and caught in a creative vacuum, struggles to enlarge a vision of swarming bees into a novel and to navigate the threshold into her fifties. Ann, heartbroken and lost, grapples with the classic question of what to do with her life. In voices candid and lyrical, this modern-day Demeter and Persephone explore a rich array of inspiring figures and sacred sites in Athens, Eleusis, Paris, Ephesus, Rocamadour, and places in between. They also give voice to a moving transformation of that most protean of human connections: the bond of mothers and daughters.
"Thoughtful, honest, and uplifting."
—Los Angeles Times
"A stunning account of inner journeys, separate and intertwined."
"Any mother or daughter would enjoy and relate to the touching struggle of developing a close relationship as adult women."
National Archeological Museum- Athens
Sitting on a bench in the National Archeological Museum in Greece, I watch my twenty-two-year-old daughter, Ann, angle her camera before a marble bas-relief of Demeter and Persephone unaware of the small ballet she’s performing– her slow, precise steps forward, the tilt of her head, the way she dips to one knee as she turns her torso, leaning into the sharp afternoon light. The scene reminds me of something, a memory maybe, but I can’t recall what. I only know she looks beautiful and impossibly grown, and that for reasons not clear to me I’m possessed by an acute feeling of loss.
It’s the summer of 1998, a few days before my fiftieth birthday. Ann and I have been in Athens a whole twenty-seven hours, a good portion of which I’ve spent lying awake in a room in the Hotel Grande Bretagne, waiting for blessed daylight. I tell myself the bereft feeling that washed over me means nothing– I’m jet-lagged, that’s all. But that doesn’t feel particularly convincing.
I close my eyes and even in the tumult of the museum where there seems to be ten tourists per square inch, I know the feeling is actually everything. It is the undisclosed reason I’ve come to the other side of the world with my daughter. Because in a way which makes no sense, she seems lost to me now. Because she is grown and a stranger. And I miss her almost violently.