When Andrew McCarthy's eldest son began to take his first steps into adulthood, McCarthy found himself wishing time would slow down. Looking to create a more meaningful connection with Sam before he fled the nest, McCarthy decided the two of them should set out on a trek like few others: 500 miles across Spain's Camino de Santiago. The pair traversed an unforgiving landscape, having more honest conversations in five weeks than they'd had in the preceding two decades. Discussions of divorce, the trauma of school, McCarthy's difficult relationship with his own father, fame, and Flaming Hot Cheetos threatened to either derail their relationship or cement it.
The book’s structure follows the path of the Camino, with a chapter per day over the course of the pilgrimage’s five weeks or so; as such, it recreates the loping, pleasant rhythm of the trail ... But if McCarthy is an open book, his son remains an enigma throughout ... It makes Sam a singularly frustrating travel companion at times, for his father as much as the reader ... But it’s hard to hold that against a 19-year-old. And the book, after all, isn’t titled Talking With Sam. The walk is the thing. Sometimes physical togetherness and shared experiences are the most you can ask for in a relationship, and there are lovely examples of both here.
McCarthy shares exquisite details of their surroundings, providing historical context ... The process of the two connecting over time is heartwarming and relatable ... A sweet gem of a tale that will appeal to McCarthy fans and those who appreciate a challenging journey.