The Camino de Santiago is not an easy trek.
It’s a 500 mile pilgrimage that leads to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great. For Chris Huston and his wife, the journey took 34 days. When he started the adventure, Huston wasn’t planning on writing a book, but he felt compelled to write about the experience.
The Camino de Santiago is normally seen as a Catholic voyage and one of the most compelling aspects of Huston’s new book is why two members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Twin Falls would be compelled to go on this exhausting adventure.
“We felt spiritual things,” Huston said. “Things that really changed our lives.”
“Finding My Way” chronicles the journey the duo took in Europe. The idea came into their heads after watching the film “The Way,” which follows a group walking the Camino de Santiago. The couple realized they wanted to give it a try and get out of their comfort zones.
The book has a near universal appeal. Religion is a theme of the book — by the very subject it would be impossible not to be — but the conclusion isn’t which religion is superior. The theme that Huston found on his journey and the one that he conveys throughout his book is that there is something that connected all of the people on the Camino de Santiago together, despite any differences they had. When he and his wife shared a hostel with strangers from other countries and differing spiritual backgrounds, there was a feeling that this adventure was a true effort on everyone’s part to accept those differences.
“We cannot claim any superiority over anyone,” Huston said. “Our Holy Ghost isn’t better than your Holy Ghost.”
Huston is a compelling writer. He’s as introspective as he is funny. He has a grandiose but not overly dramatic writing style — he makes every mountain that they climbed seem like a challenge that the reader can sympathize with but he never sets a scene that is over the top and impossible. He is grounded in this story.
The book itself is a very nice package. With 30 digestible chapters, the journey is a page turner that anyone will feel compelled to finish as quickly as they can. There are photos that the Hustons took on their journey in the middle of the book that helps contextualize the trip.
“In this setting we were looking for reasons to love each other. That was a powerful idea,” Huston said.
Huston, who writes a Sunday column each week for the Times-News, will have a book signing for “Finding My Way” from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Deseret Book Store, 1434 Pole Line Road E.
“Finding My Way” is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Desert Book Store.