Heavy Time

Heavy Time

I’ve been reading a few bits and pieces about psychogeography lately and with my own academic interest in Religious History then Heavy Time, by Sonia Overall seemed the very book for me where past and present can meet at varying points on a journey.

In Heavy Time Sonia Overall follows the old pilgrim roads from Canterbury to Walsingham via London and her home town, Ely. What follows is a vivid encounter with the past and present, and some intriguing characters along the way.  This is a journey many of us have set out to do, albeit for many I’m sure completely unprepared, and although here the reader is presented with the author making the same mistakes we can identify and say ‘we’ve all done that’, which makes this particular book much more identifiable and accessible, as the writer is one of us!

One of the more pleasurable aspects of Heavy Time is the reader can picture the landscape being walked, and this is a testament to Sonia Overall’s style as we, the readers, are taking those steps with her, through wrong turns and injuries, we’re there every step of the way with her and this is what, for me, stands out as this is certainly no mean feat and the accompanying illustrations by Oliver Barrett help bring aspects of the narrative alive.  I’ve read many books and rarely has my imagination been allowed to escape and wander the landscape so freely as in Heavy Time.

On reading, I was anticipating the ending, and how that would be achieved, and not to give it away for anyone, it’s most certainly an ending that makes the whole journey rewarding and fulfilling.  I’m not sure how difficult this book was to write, but it’s of reading with an underlying message about escaping the bustle of our lives makes me feel that the words flowed as easily as they read.  I can only imagine though!

Tom Stanger
Editor at Pilgrim House | Website | + posts

Founder and Editor of Pilgrim House, currently working on a book on 1950s cinema and curator of the archives of the lost village of Pontyddim. Tom’s other work can be found at tomasstanger.com

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