‘A masterpiece of historical fiction.’
Wendy H Jones, author and writing coach
The BBC’s recent series, Forgiveness: Stories from the Front Line, thoughtfully explores the power of forgiving. Perhaps surprisingly, the presenter concludes that self-forgiveness is the hardest kind, being so bound up with regret and shame, yet it has the power to transform our lives.
In her new historical novel, The Pilgrim, Joy Margetts sensitively tackles the subject of forgiveness, in particular self-forgiveness, inviting us to consider our pasts and how we should deal with actions we regret. She introduces us to Henry de Brampton, a young man weighed down by what he has done, acts for which no restitution can be made, and uses his fictional account to share life-changing truth.
Driven by ambition and family expectation, Henry had been determined to make his mark and was destined for a prestigious career in the Church. But fuelled by selfish desire, and readily embracing the chance to experience the world before taking his vows, he recklessly betrayed those he loved, with devastating consequences.
Overwhelmed with guilt, he seeks redemption among the Cistercians of Abbey Cwmhir in Wales, but after a further careless betrayal, is forced on pilgrimage to save his vocation. A reluctant pilgrim, can the unlikely company help him discover God’s true character, and will he ever be willing not just to receive forgiveness but also to forgive himself?
Joy comments on why she wrote the novel. “Henry de Brampton’s story reflects all our stories. I think we all have things it can be hard to forgive ourselves for and I wanted The Pilgrim to carry a message of hope. God’s grace is sufficient and He wants us to receive forgiveness and live in the freedom He designed us for, to be able to become the people He has called us to be.
“In The Pilgrim I wanted to explore how a young, impetuous and pride-filled man – Henry – could transform into the wise, compassionate and humble Brother Hywel, who featured so significantly in my previous novel, The Healing. The shame and guilt Henry carries threaten to destroy his life, and he struggles to receive the forgiveness God offers, let alone forgive himself. Yet as he follows the pilgrim trail he encounters God’s mercy and grace – and as we journey with him, I hope so can we.”
‘A timeless journey of love, loss and redemption played out across a compelling medieval landscape.’Anne E Bailey, Historian, Oxford University
The Pilgrim by Joy Margetts (ISBN: 9781912726615) is published by Instant Apostle and is available on 22ndJuly 2022 from bookshops and online retailers. Fiction, paperback, 274pp, £9.99.