Traveling with Pomegranates is a travel-book-slash-memoir co-authored by Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees and Dance of the Dissident Daughter, and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor. The book contains Ann’s and Sue’s reflections on a series of journeys they took together, mainly in Greece and in France, during the years when Ann, fresh out of college, was making crucial decisions about career and marriage while her mother Sue was facing menopause and midlife challenges.
There are some lovely descriptions in here as well as some thought-provoking reflections about the changes each woman is going through, the mother-daughter relationship, and the symbols of feminine spirituality that mean so much to both of them. The parts I found most enjoyable had to do with Sue Monk Kidd’s writing of The Secret Life of Bees. Once a novel has been hugely successful, it’s great to read an author memoir that takes you back to the place where she first thought of writing it, through her early struggles with the story. If it includes an encounter with a mean writing-workshop teacher who thinks she doesn’t have enough there to make an interesting novel, so much the better!
If you enjoy travel writing, writing about women’s spirituality, explorations of mother-daughter relationships, or writers’ memoirs, there’s all that in here, and pomegranates too.