Ordinary Magic: Promises I Kept to My Mother Through Life, Illness, and a Very Long Walk

| June 5, 2018

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A terrifying diagnosis. An unbreakable bond. And one unforgettable journey.

”An epic love letter . . . Stunning, unique, unlike anything I’ve read before.” — Julia Scheeres, Jesus Land: A Memoir

Cameron Powell has always struggled with goodbyes. On the day his marriage ends, he finds out his mother’s cancer has returned-and this time there may be no escape. Faced with the prospect of more chemo and surgery, his German-born mother, Inge, vows to conquer a 500-mile trek across Spain, and Cameron pushes aside his fears to walk by her side.

Joined by a misfit band of adventurers – a politically incorrect Spaniard, a theatrical Frenchwoman, a teenager who’s never been far from home – Cameron and Inge write a fierce and funny travelogue about the rocky heights and hidden valleys of the Camino de Santiago. As a Camino memoir in the tradition of James Hitt or Bill Bryson, Ordinary Magic delivers.

But the hardest stretch comes three years later, when Inge’s health declines — and Cameron, ready or not, must accept the challenge to remain as present to his mother as he can. As their journey shrinks to the room around a hospice bed, Cameron begins to record, in their blog, his real-time impressions of life’s most difficult voyage. What he created is one of literature’s great love letters and a uniquely unflinching insight into how we all truly can create love and meaning in our lives, even amidst the fear and sadness we’ll all face from time to time.

“Powerful, inspiring —and, amazingly, almost impossible to put down.” – Mary Dearborn, The Happiest Man Alive: A Biography of Henry Miller

Propelled by the searing immediacy of Cameron’s own fear and sadness, this deeply-felt memoir opens up new insight into what it means to be a man, and takes us – with wisdom, humor, and an overflowing tenderness – into one of the most challenging journeys true friends can ever take. If you like candid mother-son relationships (Inge’s last recorded words: “God I’m going to a hotel!”), humorous tales from the trail, and in-the-moment insights on living a life of resilience and purpose, then you’ll love Cameron Powell’s luminous, inspirational true story about pilgrimage, presence, and letting go.

Ordinary Magic is the love story, the lifelong inspiration, the soulful laugh and cry you need in your life right now. Pick up your copy today by clicking the BUY NOW button at the top of this page! Then join our community celebrating the ordinary magic of love and resilience, and wake up your love for yourself and others.

Studded with gems of spirited observation and wit. Is this black humor? If so, it’s of the most fond and loving sort, and Inge, Powell’s mother, emerges as an indelible heroine. Powell is a writer to watch. — Mary Dearborn, Hemingway: A Biography

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

How did the story begin?
Mom and I blogged while on the Camino de Santiago. Readers loved the travel writing, and said our journey was inspiring and hilarious. But when the Camino ended, I stopped blogging.

What made you start again?
Well, I had to write. I’d just realized, and was trying to accept, what I most feared: that my mother was going to die soon. My decision to share my path with others, on the blog, was one of the best I’ve ever made. The love was overwhelming, a light in my darkness.

What surprised you most about readers’ reactions?
People they saw the humor in it all. And they kept saying the posts were “beautiful”. I realized people have a real hunger for what really matters.

What makes this memoir different?
As a story of a mother through the eyes of her son, it’s so rare as to be overdue. Readers have really responded to the sheer grit of my mom. And because I have a lifelong fascination with the human mind and heart, I saw a way to make my mom’s psychological resilience something every reader can learn from

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