"INSPIRED TRAVELLER'S GUIDE": Spiritual Places," by Sarah Baxter, illustrated by Harry and Zanna Goldhawk, Aurum Press, $19.99, 143 pages (nf)
From Spain’s coast to the Australian desert to the Wyoming prairie, “Inspired Traveller’s Guide: Spiritual Places” talks about 25 wonderous locations and how history and locale add to their divinity. Accompanied with beautiful illustrations that perfectly capture author Sarah Baxter’s amazing writing, reading this book is truly a delight.
Although Great Britain’s Stonehenge is a hugely popular tourist destination, Avebury is the place Baxter suggests visiting. Fewer than 25 miles away, Avebury is a stone circle located in Wiltshire, England. Its 27 gigantic stones, some of which weigh more than 40 tons, are encircled within a ditch almost a mile in circumference. But it’s the feeling of the place, as described by Baxter, which makes Avebury sound so alluring.
But then, it’s obvious Baxter can make just about anywhere sound appealing. A truly gifted writer, she’s managed to describe towns, cultures, smells and sights of 25 very different locations in less than three pages per site. Baxter focuses on why visiting each place can be a spiritual experience, and reading these snapshots can be a transporting experience.
While the lack of photographs can at first be disappointing, it soon becomes obvious that the illustrations by husband-and-wife team Harry and Zanna Goldhawk are even better than photos. The 60 full-color artwork pieces impeccably meld with Baxter’s writings. Each seems to capture the heart of her words in a way that would be impossible with mere photos.
“Inspired Traveller’s Guide: Spiritual Places” has no swearing or other foul language, sexual content or violence.
A native of England, Baxter has traveled extensively throughout the world and written for various travel publications.
The Goldhawks, also of England, run their online business, Papio Press, from their Cornwall cottage.