‘inspirational. The hardships and vulnerability, assessing, letting go and moving on. The writing itself is great. But I think the thing that struck me most was the honesty with which you told your story.’
Amazon review, My Pilgrim’s Heart
“When you are in a car, beautiful places are a moment;
if you stop the car, they are a cluster of moments.
When you walk, beautiful places are an eternity carved into the soul.”
From My Pilgrim’s Heart
In 2007, Australian author and journalist Stephanie Dale walked 1500 kms through ancient and wartorn countries.
She walked with her son Ben, joining him for the middle leg of his epic 7000 km pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem.
My Pilgrim’s Heart is the story of their adventures.
‘The newly released My Pilgrim’s Heart by Stephanie Dale … tests the author’s resourcefulness and is a journey of often painful self-discovery, as all good travel writing should be. It will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller Eat, Pray, Love (and demonstrates) the kind of humour and pluck for which Australians like to think we are famous.’
Susan Kurosawa, travel editor, The Australian
‘A rare jewel.’
Madeline Doherty, editor, Coast & Country Living
‘This book is profound.’
Candida Baker, (former) Weekend editor, The Northern Star
‘My Pilgrim’s Heart is elegant and eloquent with confident maturity, and while it is a deeply personal story, it poses questions that will give pause to many of us. My Pilgrim’s Heart is a journey within a journey.
The intense physical experience Stephanie undergoes in walking through Italy, the Balkans, Turkey and the Middle East is inextricably linked to the winding and labyrinthine analysis of her inner life. This is one hell of a brave woman!
If a pilgrim is a person who undertakes a long and arduous journey to a sacred place, as an act of devotion, then Stephanie can be seen as a pilgrim on several levels. Ultimately, this is a pilgrimage towards self and towards honesty and it is a searing experience.
‘The book is a contemporary examination of the relationship between a woman and the masculine world. The quality of the prose is excellent, the humour is abundant and the travel component is absolutely galvanising. My Pilgrim’s Heart delivers in spades.’
Jeni Caffin, (former) director, Byron Bay Writers’ Festival
‘This is the book about marriage I’ve never read, because it hadn’t been written – until now! It is an honest, wrenching and provocative work, a story that resonates, illuminates, teaches and baffles. The sheer beauty of the writing will take you well beyond one woman’s story.’
Brunette Lenkic, author ‘Play On’
‘This book is every woman’s ‘ultimate travel story’: it’s about adventure, hardship, insight, meaning, laughter and love.’
‘You write from, and to, the heart. I see myself in your journey and I keep saying ‘oh! that is so well-expressed, I know that feeling!’ And then you take me to places of my soul where I long to connect and reconnect.’
‘The longing is the path. These words encapsulate the power, intensity and emotions of Stephanie Dale’s My Pilgrim’s Heart. Step by step on her long journey from Rome, Stephanie realises that she in fact is the true love of her life. If only all women could understand this. Readers who liked Eat Pray Love will have a whirlwind romance with Dale’s My Pilgrim’s Heart.’
Laine Cunningham, author ‘Message Stick’
“I loved it for all the reasons I hated Eat, Pray, Love.”
“I learned to follow the animal trails, at first barely visible, now as obvious as an east coast motorway.
I learned that nothing and nowhere is inaccessible, if you have the will to go there and you’re willing to pay the price.
And I learned about love and truth and death; and that you can’t pick and choose between them. Choose one, you get all three – every time.”
from Hymn for the Wounded Man
Lilia is an Australian city girl who takes time out from her busy life to find her spiritual heart in New Zealand. There she meets a man whose culture she didn’t know existed in the modern world of the 21st century. And so begins a love story that is timeless and achingly beautiful.
Hymn for the Wounded Man will ferry you into the wild places of New Zealand. There you will embark on a journey to a little understood realm in the West, the realm of the hunter – and you will return home in love with life and truth and death.
This beautiful book is a homecoming – if you’re willing to take the journey.
‘The heart, it is said, is a lonely hunter – and Stephanie Dale’s evocative new novel is a meditation on this bittersweet truth. Dale’s Lilia is hungry for love. But ultimately, she seeks a more elusive prey: becoming the most magnificent woman she knows how to be. This is a love story, but more than that it is a novel of ideas, set into a landscape that springs to life under the deft hand of a masterly observer. You’ll be astonished at the panorama. But in the end, it’s the close-ups of a relationship caught in the crosshairs that make this work echo like a gunshot in the woods.’
Susan Maushart, author & journalist
‘Hymn for the Wounded Man is a lyrical, honest, fascinating story on so many levels . . . (with) beautiful descriptions of the meditative process of the hunt, the glory of nature, the hunter being connected to everything – and yet he is the wounded man. A fascinating and beautiful book.’
Mary-Lou Stephens, ABC radio
‘. . . each brief chapter is so short and delicious, I don’t want to finish having such warm experiences. So I only read one chapter at a time, then close the book with anticipation.’
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