Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Santiago Tales by Terry Tumbler is a brilliant, refreshing, and gripping collection of tales crafted around a group of retired people on a pilgrimage to Santiago, a contemporary kind of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Led by an ex-detective, readers are introduced to a cast of interesting characters, some surprisingly despicable in an amusing sort of way. The author puts together a variety of characters that share different, even conflicting beliefs, on an adventure, each of them a good storyteller with unique backgrounds and professions, and allows each of them to entertain the group with a story, as though they were gathered around a bonfire. It’s fun to watch these people explore new worlds, exchange ideas and each other’s viewpoints.
The first time I read something about Santiago was in the writings of Paolo Coelho and the idea of the road struck me as very symbolic. Terry Tumbler takes readers on a symbolic journey to Santiago and confronts them with the not-so-obvious motivations many people have behind popular piety. The sarcasm is subtle and the humor biting, sometimes grim. In this collection of stories, the author leads readers into exciting places, uncovering hidden gems of the road, and treating readers to beautiful elements of the cultural setting. The story is told in an ebullient voice that is both charming and compelling. The characters are well-thought out and masterfully written, with rich backgrounds and depth of personality. Readers will be thrilled by these stories. Each is a unique and breezy read. Santiago Tales will take you to exquisite and exciting places, places that feel so strangely familiar. It is atmospheric and fun!