Author: Paul Almond 

Publisher: McArthur & Company

ISBN-10: 1770871632

ISBN-13: 978-1770871632


Set in Canada in 1896, The Pilgrim is the fourth in the Alford Saga—a series of novels written by Paul Almond, well-known Canadian film and television director. The saga has garnered much international and national acclaim, and for good reason—it provides an in-depth look into Canadian life in the late nineteenth century. More than that, it tells a great story of adventure and romance, one that grips the interest of twenty-first century readers. The tale recounts the year that Jack Alford, a young clergyman, spent travelling along the Labrador coast, visiting the hardy people who dared to live in such rugged and harsh conditions. Though the book is fiction, the character Jack Alford was based in part on the life of Paul Almond's uncle, Reverend Jack. It is evident that months of research went into the creation of The Pilgrim, for in creating the story, albeit fictional, of a young man who finds himself suddenly immersed in life on the isolated Lower North Shore, Almond has masterfully given it a completely authentic feel.

The novel is written in the first person, namely, from Jack Alford’s point of view. The vivid account of his challenges and realizations compels one to keeping turning the pages, not only because every chapter is filled with life-threatening situations that he must encounter and survive as part of his day-to-day life, but because his story is recounted with such a personal voice. This is often a challenge for writers, and when they attempt to recreate the atmosphere and dialogue (including the dialects) of an older time and generation, the narration can sound unnatural. Paul Almond, however, has narrated this tale extremely artfully and successfully; his story strikes the heart with great effectiveness, leading the reader to feel an empathy with Jack and the many people he meets along his travels. For instance, when he rescues a young woman, Lorna, from sailors on a ship, we sense that she will play an important role in his life and in the book.

One can certainly read The Pilgrim without having read the first three novels; it stands on its own as a great novel, one which will likely endure as a classic in Canadian literature. As someone who had not read the first three books, I found, when I came to the final page of The Pilgrim, I had a definite wish to read them. And I was especially delighted to learn that the Alford Saga continues and that there are four more books in the series.

Follow Here To Purchase The Pilgrim: Book Four of the Alford Saga

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