Happy Thursday, dear readers! Starting today and continuing until September 11th (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of chatting with all of the 2021 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m beginning with Elizabeth Musser and her contemporary Carol Award finalist book The Promised Land! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.
FYI – There will be 2-3 posts per day, many of which are offering a giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!
THE PROMISED LAND
SERIES: The Swan House #3
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: October 3, 2020
With her oldest son taking a gap year in Europe, her aging father losing his sight and his memory, and her husband of twenty years announcing that he’s leaving her, Abbie Jowett is surrounded by overwhelming loss.
Desperate to mend her marriage and herself, she follows her son, Bobby, to walk the famed Camino pilgrimage. During their journey they encounter Rasa, an Iranian woman working in secret helping other refugees, and Caroline, a journalist who is studying pilgrims on the Camino while searching for answers from her broken past.
Each individual has their own reasons for the pilgrimage, but together they learn that the Camino strips you bare and calls you into deep soul-searching that can threaten all your best laid plans.
I asked the author…
What do you most want readers to take away from The Promised Land?
The Promised Land is a contemporary novel about pilgrimage, and specifically walking the famed French Camino, with the central question in the novel being: What gets through when everything is taken away? I found it both ironic and timely that, although the novel was written before Covid-19, the theme of loss and specifically loss of control was what most of us around the world were feeling when it was released in November, 2020. I wanted to take four very different personalities and see how each responded to the idea of loss, of being out of control, and what happens when each chooses to leave the ‘known’ behind and walk forward into the ‘unknown.’
I had been working through a virtual Camino experience and very much appreciated the title of a poem by Antonio Machado: The Way Is Made by Walking. I think this is what my characters learn and what I want my readers to take away from the novel. In the spiritual sense, as Christians, we are asked to trust that the Lord knows the way we should go. We don’t know the way, and only get a little bit of light each day—as the psalm says, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119: 105)
“You are never alone on the Camino,” one of the main characters is told before she starts out. My pilgrims in The Promised Land discover that the journey is as important as the destination. How they get there and with whom is every bit as important as arriving. This is the message that many pilgrims come away with on the Camino as well as the sense that the end of the physical Camino is just the beginning of a new way of seeing and experiencing life. I hope my readers experience a similar feeling as they read The Promised Land.
ELIZABETH MUSSER writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Elizabeth’s award winning, best-selling novel, The Swan House, was named one of Amazon’s Top Christian Books of the Year, one of Georgia’s Top Ten Novels of the Past 100 Years and was awarded the Gold Illumination Book Award 2021 for Enduring Light Fiction. All of Elizabeth’s novels have been translated into multiple languages and been international bestsellers. Two Destinies, the final novel in The Secrets of the Cross trilogy, was a finalist for the 2013 Christy Award. The Long Highway Home was a finalist for the 2018 Carol Award. Elizabeth’s most recent novel, The Promised Land, won second place in Literary Fiction at the 2021 Georgia Author of the Year Awards and is a finalist for the 2021 Carol Award.
For over thirty-five years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in missions’ work in Europe with One Collective, formerly International Teams. The Mussers have two sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. Find more about Elizabeth and her novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her blog.
Elizabeth Musser is offering a print copy of The Promised Land to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read the contemporary Carol Award finalist The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser? Or, if you’ve read it already, what did you love about it?