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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Scotland’s lush and green countryside beckons S.A. Snyder as she struggles with a spiritual crisis. A man named William offers her a place at Braemar House, known as the school of esoteric education. Enticed by the promise of learning to love God and man, what follows will be far more than the spiritual adventure she expects. Her memoir Plant Trees, Carry Sheep: A Woman’s Spiritual Journey Among the Sufis of Scotland is an account of her steps guided by God to find inner peace and to spread kindness. It seems, however, that the search for spiritual enlightenment is filled with pressure and stress. She realizes that the path to knowingness with the Sufis is paved with chopping wood, carrying water, planting trees, carrying sheep, cooking, cleaning, and other domestic tasks, because “God doesn’t always deliver what we need in a nice, tidy package.”
Two factors make this memoir fascinating: its witty, inspirational voice and its sensory richness. It might be heralded in the future as one of the best memoirs of the twenty-first century. It is inspiring and humorous in form and profound in content. As we become exposed to the vulnerabilities of S.A. Snyder, Plant Trees, Carry Sheep achieves a majestic narrative grandeur of its own. Another great quality of this book is the effective word choices that really deliver clear, coherent sentences. It cuts out the fluff and every paragraph addresses fascinating truths with such brevity. You will feel inspired to pack your bags to visit Scotland for a spiritual retreat after gaining insights from this beautiful memoir.