Barefoot Pilgrimage – A Memoir by Andrea Corr | Book Reviews | Memoir

By Swirl and Thread

‘I did not sit down at all, nor consider a destination. I just obeyed the pictures as they came. The questions. The fleeting moments. The present into the past. The present because of the past and back again with a few human, mad-gene detours along the way.’
– Andrea Corr, Barefoot Pilgrimage

Andrea Corr, member of the successful Irish band The Corrs, made a decision to write her memoir in 2017, following the passing of her Dad in 2015. As the years passed she became almost fearful that their story would never be told. Her beloved Mum had died eighteen years previously and Andrea felt it was now time to tell their story in her own incredibly unique way.

Barefoot Pilgrimage is published with Harper Collins and is described as ‘a very personal – at times very funny, at times deeply moving – book from an iconic figure in popular music.’

Barefoot Pilgrimage is an extremely personal and very poignant memoir. Andrea Corr has compiled an account that explores The Corrs’ journey through their frenetic years as musicians while also taking the reader down memory lane with anecdotal stories of their years together in the family home. Andrea’s mother was very central to those early years and her relationship with her husband and children is so very moving. Andrea now looks back on her mothers life, her parenting, her desire to work outside the home in later years, through her own now more mature eyes. As a mum now herself, Andrea feels a very strong connection to her own mother. Andrea comes to recognise the person her mother became before her tragic passing eighteen years ago. Her father’s grief following her death is palpable and Andrea gentle and sensitive descriptions of that time are profoundly emotional.

Scattered throughout the pages are poems and rather alternative turns of phrase. At the beginning I found some of the language a little unusual but after awhile Andrea’s quirky sense of humour began to make sense and I adjusted to her rather unique style of penmanship.

Andrea takes us with her on her journey through the music years, the heights they reached, the social circles they inhabited and the mania of their lives at the time. She refers to her father and each of her siblings with very apparent affection. The Corrs, music aside, are a very tight family. Their love for each other is clearly evident but, more importantly, the respect they have for each other is remarkable. As each member made decisions that best suited them at certain moments , the remainder of the group had their back. The Corrs’ talent as musicians was evident to all and this family support kept them grounded at all times in an industry that has witnessed many tragedies over the years.

Barefoot Pilgrimage is quite an extraordinary read. Andrea Corr’s poetic abilities shine through on every page with the randomness of verses littering the chapters. There is a very pensive nature to many of the paragraphs filled with nostalgic references to days gone by. There is an air of melancholy over much of the writing and an unexpected level of intimacy in the portrayal of many of the sentiments conveyed.

Barefoot Pilgrimage is quite unlike any book that I have ever read and to be honest I am not so sure I will ever read a book quite like it again. It is a contemplative read of introspection, of nostalgia, of love. It is unconventional in every way, it is very authentic, it is Andrea Corr.

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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