The Year We Seized the Day by Colin Falconer and Elizabeth Best
Colin Falconer and Elizabeth Best
SHE’S CRIPPLED. HE’S MAD. THEY’RE MILES FROM ANYWHERE.
TWO WRITERS SET OUT to walk the camino across Spain with the intention of writing a nice, easy-reading travel book. So what went wrong?
Well for a start they barely know each other. He’s old enough to be her father. She should have died years ago. And they have secrets.
The trail they are about to hike is around a thousand kilometres long, taking in mountains and deserts. She neglects to tell him that she has certain physical problems that to this point have prevented her walking further than two laps round a football park.
He has also made light of certain events that have gone seriously wrong in his private life. She does not know, for instance, that he is on the verge of cracking up. Two weeks after they arrive in Spain she is shocked to find herself with a ringside seat while he comes undone in the middle of nowhere.
By turns poignant and hilarious and always excruciatingly candid, this is an extraordinary account of life, love and the whole damned thing. As a travel book it was a monumental fail. Instead it won a huge cult following in Australia, an inspirational book about friendship and healing at the very end of the earth. It is now released internationally for the first time.
“Who wants to read a book about a man and a woman, a generation apart, one possibly deranged by grief and loss, the other a recovered anorexic physically falling to bits, mbarking on a pilgrimage across Spain, both hoping somehow to set their lives back on track on the journey?
The reply is simple. Isn’t that precisely what a pilgrimage is all about? Particularly the great journey across northern Spain from the Roncesvalles near the French border to Santiago de Compostela and Cape Finisterre in Spain.
Aren’t all pilgrims, even those on their way to Canterbury in Chaucer’s unforgettable collection of tales, in the process of dealing with their personal demons by simply walking and thinking and trying to make sense of their lives?” Bruce Elder – in the Sydney Morning Herald
Two writers, barely acquainted, set off on a 1000 kilometre hike along the ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail. With its history of Templar Knights, Holy Grails and bandits, they figure there’s bound to be a book in it.
And there is; but nothing like the book they imagined. Two vastly different people find themselves confronting their own pasts – and each other – in a barren wilderness beneath the stark summer sun. Bound by a promise and fuelled by too much cheap raw wine, what was supposed to be a fun little travelogue turns into an epic tale of tragedy, triumph and fierce loyalty.
Set among the olive groves and rolling hills, the castles and cathedrals of northern Spain, with a supporting cast of eccentrics – mad monks, homicidal nuns, international soul seekers and boisterous boy scouts – The Year We Seized The Day is an inspiring, moving and blackly funny account of two modern-day pilgrims on an extraordinary journey to the ends of the earth – and beyond.
“ … a gripping tale of endurance laced with heartache and wry humour …” Sun Herald
“ …their courage and honesty in facing their demons makes this book a compelling read …” Woman’s Day
“ …by any measure this is a remarkable, painful, illuminating and inspiring book …” The Sydney Morning Herald