cover image Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God

Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God

Lori Erickson. Fortress, $24.99 (260p) ISBN 978-1-50642-071-4

In this vivacious memoir, travel writer Erickson (Iowa: Off the Beaten Path) charts her meandering spiritual journey via a dozen pilgrimages she’s taken, including to locations such as Hildegard of Bingen’s Eibingen Abbey in Germany and a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Indiana. An Iowa farmer’s daughter, Erickson grew up Lutheran and flirted with Buddhism and Unitarianism before becoming an ordained deacon in a local Episcopal community. Now she jokes that she’s “in an open marriage with Jesus” that allows her to benefit from the wisdom of many different faiths. Each chapter stylishly blends memoir with travelogue; sections from the author’s chronological spiritual biography are interspersed with accounts of relevant trips she’s made. For instance, her time as a Wiccan persuaded her of the spiritual power of the natural world, reinforced by her visit to Iceland with its Norse gods and belief in elves. Meanwhile, her son’s meningitis scare convinced her of the miracle of healing—faith in which struck her as a common trait in the hordes of Lourdes pilgrims. A trip to Thomas Merton’s Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky is a highlight. Whether describing mystical visions or the rhythms of everyday life, Erickson turns the spiritual journey into a series of exciting transformations. (Sept.)