Friday, May 8, 2015

The Accidental Pilgrim by Stephen Kitsakos (3.5 stars)

About The Accidental Pilgrim

Publisher: ASD Publishing

In the summer of 1974, Dr. Rose Strongin, a marine biologist, inexplicably disappears for three hours on the last day of an archaeological dig at the Sea of Galilee. She has no memory of the disappearance, but it causes her to miss her flight home from Israel. That plane, TWA 841, explodes over the Mediterranean killing all aboard. Twelve years later she learns that a 2,000 year-old perfectly preserved vessel, dubbed the “Jesus Boat,” is uncovered at the site of her disappearance and she begins to understand what happened and why.

The novel crosses several decades exploring the intersection of science, religion and the unexplainable as a family gathers to say goodbye to the matriarch who held a family secret.

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Dr. Rose Strongin has a brilliant scientific mind. After a strange occurrence, she suffers a memory lapse and her family struggles with her changing personality. Then, she's gone. Her husband, two daughters, and son come together to carry out her last wishes. 

This story is such a journey. Early on, it's clear this family has struggled with things beyond their control and understanding. Through flashbacks and multiple points of view, the reader begins to find out what happened to Rose. With each chapter, the mystery grows and my connection to Rose as a character deepened.

Although I found the story interesting, it took me a while to get into it. There's a lot of transition and it was hard to follow at times, particularly in the beginning when I was still getting used to the characters' voices. 

However, when the story picks up momentum, it's an emotional and climactic ride to the surprising finish. With a mix of science, spirituality, and religion, it's sure to make you think.  What started as a 3-star read was a solid 4-star by the end. 

Rating: 3.5 stars

About Stephen Kitsakos 

Stephen Kitsakos is a theatre writer and journalist as well as the author of three opera librettos. His current project is the opera adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s international bestseller, A Thousand Splendid Suns with music by Sheila Silver. Other works include the Sackler-Prize award winning “The Wooden Sword” and “The White Rooster: A Tale of Compassion” for the Smithsonian Institution. His work often explores the connection between religion and art. He divides his time between Key West and New York. 

Find out more about Stephen at his website, and follow him on Twitter.
Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 

Please visit other stops on The Accidental Pilgrim blog tour page.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much by the end! Thanks for being a part of the tour.