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The Last Pilgrimage: My Mother's Life and Our Journey to Saying Goodbye Hardcover – May 7, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161902117X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619021174
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,890,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Daly’s mother, Nancy, was highly regarded in the cultural and philanthropic arenas of L.A. When she was diagnosed with stage-four pancreatic cancer, her busy life slowed considerably as she began chemotherapy and radiation. But she stubbornly insisted on taking her own approach to dealing with her illness, making only marginal adjustments for better nutrition and rest. Nancy beat the odds, surviving for three years until the torturous decline, when Daly searched desperately for a miracle through clinical trials, experimental treatments, and, finally, a visit to Brazilian healer John of God during his residence in the U.S. Daly packed up her mother for a journey from L.A. to upstate New York in search of a miracle for Nancy and spiritual clarity for herself. Her brothers later joined her for the road trip home as they came to terms with Nancy’s impending death. Daly offers a beautifully written and compelling account of a struggle with illness that showed all the fault lines in the mother-daughter relationship as they embarked on a roller coaster of treatments, setbacks, minor miracles, and the final descent. --Vanessa Bush

Review

Praise for The Last Pilgrimage

“This book is two stories, a child’s and a dying parent’s, and each of us has both of those stories in us too, whether we tell them in a book for the world to read or tell them for ourselves alone, around the family table, as our turn comes to care for the dying and then, eventually, to be among them.” —Patt Morrison, The Los Angeles Times

The Last Pilgrimage is a gorgeous love story and spiritual travelogue wrapped in a wonderfully written, funny, and fantastic memoir. It is the best kind of biography; like life, reality bites and blossoms on every page. A vivid and loving portrait of Nancy Daly, painted by her daughter's unflinching, touching, and warmly humorous reflections.” —Jamie Lee Curtis

“Philanthropist and environmental activist Daly writes about her spiritual search as she shared her mother's courageous four-year battle with the ravages of pancreatic cancer… a convert to Judaism with a profound connection to nature, [she] writes movingly of her spiritual journey as she faced the need to establish an independent identity. A daughter's tender tribute to a remarkable mother.” —Kirkus

"This is a beautiful book with an appropriate title, as sorrow over her mother's cancer became the author's conduit for her search for God. Linda Daly has mined the extraordinary depths of the love a daughter feels for her mother, and the sadness she feels at her passage from this world. A wonderful testament to the power of love." —Marianne Williamson

“I am so glad Linda chose to write this story for two reasons. One, I think Linda is a very good writer —she writes with humor, sensitivity, insight, and depth. Two, because I believe that Linda’s account of Nancy Daly’s final days after her courageous battle with pancreatic cancer should be read. It is a story of love and strength; the importance of family and friends, and mostly about a woman who refused to see the bottle as half empty even when it was down to its last ounces.” —Carole Bayer Sager

The Last Pilgrimage presents the age-old archetype of a child facing a parent's death but with a unique voice and vision, namely the ability to mix the material with the metaphysical. I can't think of a more contemporary mother/daughter tale — filled with questions of life and death, love and money, identity and family — or a more qualified author/daughter to write it.” —Annie Jacobsen, bestselling author of Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base.

“There are so many elements to this journey — both geographical and metaphorical — it’s like a scavenger hunt for salvation. But at the core, this is a story about a family coming together instead of falling apart when the glue that held them together is about to die. It’s moving, compelling and, time and time again, downright funny.” —Nancie Clare, former editor of the Los Angeles Times Magazine

“As Linda grew ever more determined to shining a light on the plight of others around the world, her mother, Nancy Daly, became more engaged in Linda's journey with International Medical Corps' efforts; their relationship deepened through this shared journey. Linda's life-altering experiences in these difficult environments have translated into extraordinary action. Her influence among thought leaders and her powerful writing has proved immensely valuable to us as we carry out our lifesaving work delivering health care and training in nearly thirty countries.” —Nancy A. Aossey, President & CEO, International Medical Corps

“Daly offers a beautifully written and compelling account of a struggle with illness that showed all the fault lines in the mother-daughter relationship as they embarked on a roller coaster of treatments, setbacks, minor miracles, and the final descent.” —Booklist

More About the Author

Linda Daly is a graduate of American University with a BA in Literature. She was a contributing editor at the now defunct Los Angeles Times Magazine where she maintained the popular Pretty In Green blog for the magazine's website. There she focused on the lighter side of green issues and highlighted earth friendly alternatives in hopes of enlightening those with a heavy carbon footprint. She has also written for various websites about philanthropy and about green issues.

Before her career in writing, Linda was a special education teacher who taught children with learning differences. She is also a Los Angeles County Master Gardener who teaches former foster youth how to plant, maintain and harvest the bounty growing in their Whittier housing facility's garden. Linda remains very active in her community as a founding Board member of two charities: Vintage Hollywood, an annual food and wine event that supports organizations benefitting the children of Southern California and the Global Hunger Foundation which supports sustainable farming for women around the world. For GHF, Linda used her inspiration from extensive travels through Africa on humanitarian missions in hopes of raising awareness for the health and safety of women and girls in developing nations.

Customer Reviews

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It is also a story of one womans journey of faith and spirituality.
crizal
This story is told with tremendous sensitivity and a fantastic sense of humor.
C. MacNeil
A story about life, death, cancer, heartbreak and the one truest love.
kbump82

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sunflower on May 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful read, the kind of book you can't put down. It is a compelling story of a daughter's journey with her mother through a very tough illness. The author brings the reader into her world in a wonderful way, examining all the feelings of both mother and daughter during this incredibly difficulty journey, both physical and spiritual. The family dynamics are incredibly interesting and ones that we can all relate to. Cancer is a terrible, scary disease and forces the family down a path that they never would have chosen if given the choice. The disease of the mother brings about an incredibly interesting evolution of the daughter writing the book, and sends all of us information on how to deal with parents struggling with the disease if this should afflict any of our parents. The struggle is heroic on both the part of the daughter and the mother and the intensity comes through with the author's truth telling of each and every experience. Well written, engaging and allows the reader a window into the very complex relationship between mother and daughter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kbump82 on April 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a great read. I laughed and cried. A story about life, death, cancer, heartbreak and the one truest love.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By crizal on April 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful story about a womans last few years living with cancer and how it affects her daughter and family. It is also a story of one womans journey of faith and spirituality. A quick and impactful read that could be shared with all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nancie Clare on May 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a story about what so many of us are living through as our parents get older, get sick and die.
Daly captures the roller coaster ride of emotions as we grapple with the idea that the rocks of our existence -- our parents -- are slipping away. And as they go on their final journeys, they take us to places full of self doubt and recrimination for not being able to "fix" the problem, as our parents always seemed to be able to fix ours.
Wow, this review makes the book seem very heavy, and although the subject could not be more serious, just like life there are scenes of quite transcendent humor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike Alexander on May 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so much more than a daughter's memoir about her mother's battle with cancer -- although Daly does an admirable, touching job conveying the roller-coaster range of emotions that come with this all-too-familiar struggle. But it is also a remarkably funny read about one of the most unlikely (and true) road trips I've ever heard of. And the book manages to delve into the author's exploration of spirituality, while simultaneously skewering the hypocrisy surrounding so-called "faith healers" like the charlatan known as John of God. Bottom line, this is a great, great book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Sig on April 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is such a raw and powerful story filled with love, sadness and laughter - anyone who has been touched by cancer will relate to the emotion, the ups and downs, and the craziness of it. It's a great read!
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