My Pilgrim’s Heart: A Woman’s Journey through Marriage and Other Foreign Lands

Stephanie Dale
Pra Publishing (2012)
ISBN 9780982140765
Reviewed by Janet Reeves for Reader Views (9/14) 

Article first published as Book Review: ‘My Pilgrim’s Heart’ by Stephanie Dale on Blogcritics.

I had mixed feelings about how to score “My Pilgrim’s Heart: A Woman’s Journey through Marriage and Other Foreign Lands” by Stephanie Dale. What an amazing journey both Stephanie and her son Ben shared in foreign countries not knowing how they would be received or what to expect next. I envy that kind of courage and independence of both Stephanie and Ben.

Stephanie has a poetic style of writing that I found hard to follow, which is the main reason for the three star rating. During the beginning section of the book I felt uneasy about the amount of negativity Stephanie expressed regarding her husband’s behavior toward her. I am glad I pushed on because I became quite intrigued and needed to know how both Stephanie’s relationship’s with Ben and her “husband” would come together by the end of the book. What was the husband’s name? Was the title “my husband” used to protect the innocent? 

I felt that the book was slow to start mostly due to my own preconceived notions of Stephanie’s experience with feminism. I have learned a tremendous amount from this author’s experience of expressing her feelings of vulnerability, fear, lack of control, and finally surrender known as “letting go.”

I have always been so grateful for the women who walked the path before me with courage on their mission to make a different way of life for other women. Stephanie traveled with her son Ben and shared her experiences from a cultural perspective and beliefs of a woman’s “place” in Rome, Turkey and finally into Jerusalem. I felt the experience she was trying to relay in her book was that of what “freedom” really means.

Call it feminism, and I withdraw, call it a mission, I’m in, and usually for the long haul once you have my attention.  Pick your battles right?  

I share more commonalities’ with Stephanie that I cared to admit until the end of the book. I am not sure I want to see Rumi’s and Jesus’ burial sites quite as much as Stephanie Dale, but I do have a huge respect for her experiences that she shares in her book, “My Pilgrim’s Heart: A Woman’s Journey through Marriage and Other Foreign Lands.”  Read on!

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