Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Pilgrimage to Estillyen: The Point: The Redemption of Oban Ironbout by William E. Jefferson


The beautiful isle of Estillyen is the home to monks, nuns, a myriad of animals and a cantankerous old man named Oban Ironbout. Hollie and Godwin Macbreeze are on a month long pilgrimage to the island to hear the lectures on redemption and, in Godwin's case, to visit the point where Oban Ironbout has a cottage.

Hollie is facing a difficult diagnosis, and understandably, is more interested in the redemption lectures than Godwin. He is fulfilling a boyhood ambition to see the cottage on the point that he calls My Cottage Rare. He drew a picture of the cottage when he was a child from a photograph taken by his grandfather, and it has haunted him ever since.

The book has two intertwined foci: the redemption lectures and the quest to see the cottage. The plot is very simple, but it supports the redemption focus of the book. I found the writing for the lectures acceptable. It's stilted and somewhat archaic, but it fits the subject. This is not the case with the dialog. I found the dialog, particularly the conversations between Hollie and Godwin, stiff.

One of the treats of the book is the setting. The Isle of Estillyen is beautifully described as are all the buildings. It makes you want spend time in such a special spot.

I recommend this book if you enjoy stories with a religious slant. However, as a novel, it doesn't work well. The plot is too thin and the characters act too much in the service of the plot.

I reviewed this book for Handlebar Publishing Company.