Finding the Way
Seekers Series #1
June 11, 2021
Set in 1250 in the Basque Pyrenees of northeastern Spain, a young Basque girl is caught up in the friction between traditional folkways and the onslaught of Christianity. A devastating personal tragedy propels her to undertake a quest along the Camino de Santiago. This historical fiction combines the elements of a coming of age story, action/adventure, and women’s literary fiction.
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Set in 1250 in the Basque Pyrenees of northeastern Spain, it's the story of Amika, a young Basque girl, caught in the personal and cultural friction between traditional folk religion and the rising tide of Christianity. When devastating personal tragedy deprives her of her home and family, she flees into the forested foothills of the Pyrenees. There she finds respite and friendship with a crone who introduces her to the “old ways.” The juggernaut of societal change destroys their simple forest life. Desperate circumstances force her to undertake a quest along the Camino de Santiago where a colorful assortment of characters introduces her to a world she never knew existed. New experiences and challenges force her to come to grips with loss, love, and her life’s purpose, her new “Way.”
When we first meet Amika, she is a simple Basque village girl. We see her grow from a terrified victim of circumstance into a strong, compelling young woman. The societal and historical setting of the story is unique, but the quest for self-discovery is universal.
This story came from my fascination with the ethnically and culturally distinct Basque people. Basques are the descendants of the original, post-ice age inhabitants of the Pyrenees. They lived in isolation from other European cultures. The Basque language is a linguistic isolate. It is related to no other language in the entire world. They were the last European ethnic group to be converted to Christianity, clinging instead to their traditional animistic Mari religion and culture.
Readers of medieval historical fiction based on the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary times will enjoy this story. Similar books include Pilgrimage by Lucy Pick, Company of Liars by Karen Maitland, or Years of Wonder: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brook.