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When musician Anna Greene dies at the untimely age of 42, her family and friends are stunned by their sudden loss. Theo, Anna's husband, is numb with grief and furiously angry with the world. Teenager Beth – in the middle of her GCSEs - is fighting her own demons, while her little brother Sam is just missing his Mum. And not unnaturally, Ruth, the children's grandmother, feels as a doctor that she should have been able to save her daughter's life. But Anna has left one last request: that those who loved her should walk the Pilgrims' Way to Canterbury in her memory. Four months later, they set out on a hundred mile journey that will change their lives for ever. Walking with the family are Father Stephen, the parish priest, who is wrestling with a deeply personal crisis of conscience, and Anna's sparky best friend, single mother Tamsin. Then a stranger joins the group. Who is he? And what was the catastrophe that drove Anna from home a decade earlier? Over the course of nine days, the pilgrims share their memories of Anna, and gradually the layers of her life are peeled back to uncover secrets that no one ever suspected. Can those who loved her come to terms with all that is past?
Sarah Meyrick's latter-day pilgrims are as congenial companions for the reader as for one another. A highly accomplished debut filled with wisdom and grace. -- Michael Arditti Beautifully written, emotionally resonant and truthful, this is an inspiring novel about the many faces of love and the struggle to come to terms with grief. -- Elizabeth Buchan Knowing Annais an easy read . . . but it is not lightweight. Some of the portrayals of grief and how we experience it are profound and memorable. At times I laughed, at times I wept; whenever I had to put the book down, I looked forward to picking it up again . . . There is a rhythm to [Knowing Anna], as to pilgrimage itself, which is both compelling and healing. * Methodist Recorder * [An] ambitious first novel . . . Meyrick writes with clarity and lack of fuss, avoiding the cliches of grief; she is also not sentimental about the balm of belief. * Church Times * Clever, honest, perceptive * The Door * It is enough to say that Meyrick succeeds in holding our attention throughout the book by revealing aspects of each individual in a subtle and gradual way that demonstrates her skill as a novelist . . . such is the strength of the characterisation and the power of the description of the route that the story lives on in our imagination. -- The Revd Dr Sally Welch * Church Times *