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Extended Audio Sample The Book of Wanderings: A Mother-Daughter Pilgrimage, by Kimberly Meyer Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kimberly Meyer Narrator: Kimberly Meye Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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To a mother and daughter on an illuminating pilgrimage, this is what the desert said: Carry only what you need. Burn what can’t be saved. Leave the remnants as an offering.

When Kimberly Meyer gave birth to her first daughter, Ellie, during her senior year of college, the bohemian life of exploration she had once imagined for herself was lost in the responsibilities of single motherhood. For years, both mother and daughter were haunted by how Ellie came into being—Kimberly through a restless ache for the world beyond, Ellie through a fear of abandonment.

Longing to bond with Ellie, now a college student, and also longing to rediscover herself, Kimberly sets off with her daughter on a quest for meaning across the globe. Leaving behind the rhythms of ordinary life in Houston, Texas, they dedicate a summer to retracing the footsteps of Felix Fabri, a medieval Dominican friar whose written account of his travels resonates with Kimberly. Their mother-daughter pilgrimage takes them to exotic destinations infused with mystery, spirituality, and rich history—from Venice to the Mediterranean through Greece and partitioned Cyprus, to Israel and across the Sinai Desert with Bedouin guides, to the Palestinian territories and to Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt.

In spare and gorgeous prose, The Book of Wanderings tells the story of Kimberly and Ellie’s journey—and of the intimate, lasting bond they forge along the way. A meditation on stripping away the distractions, on simplicity, and on how to live, this is a vibrant memoir with the power to both transport readers to far-off lands and to bring them in closer connection with themselves. It will appeal to anyone who has contemplated the road not taken, who has experienced the gnawing feeling that there is something more, who has faced the void—of offspring leaving, of mortality looming, and of searching for a place that feels, finally, like home.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Meyer’s memoir…will make you feel virtually transported to some of the world’s most exotic and rich locations, but that’s not the most rewarding part. Her story of forging and solidifying her bond with daughter Ellie is what will impact you the most deeply.”


  • “Meyer has a keen eye for detail and a graceful way with words. Her descriptions are brilliantly crafted—so ripe one is transported with her.”

    USA Today

  • “A meditation of stripping away distractions and embracing simplicity [that] will take you on the road less traveled and show you that the world has so much to offer.”

    Working Mother magazine

  • “Meyer’s poetic voice and sincerity make this quest not a gimmick but a richly felt expedition….The book’s life comes from Meyer’s pondering the years of waiting and wondering if she would ever do what she had dreamed of so long ago and whether it would bring her all that she hoped. An uncommonly rich and spiritual book.”


  • "The Book of Wanderings is about both the intrinsically private and the universally enduring need for pilgrimage: to the sites that restore and reward, to the experience of wondering and wandering and connecting, whether with family or the whole human race. Meyer brings this insatiable urge to pursue enlightenment of the journey home to the reader…There’s no one who won’t recognize some aspect of herself in these pages. They offer insights both mystical and practical. It is a book to cherish.”

    Antonya Nelson, author of Bound and Funny Once

  • “In a youthful, slightly sleepy voice, Meyer describes the path she and her daughter follow.”


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About the Author

Kimberly Meyer holds a doctoral degree in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston, where she was the recipient of several fellowships and grants. Her essays have appeared widely in magazines and journals and have been anthologized in the Best American Travel Writing. She teaches literature courses at the University of Houston.