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Simon Parke: Pippa’s Progress

Simon Parke

Pippa’s Progress: A Pilgrim’s Journey to Heaven

ISBN: 9780 2325 2954 8

DLT, 2012, £9.99

The front cover asks the question, What if John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress today? And in 20 short chapters, and in the undeniable approach of Bunyan’s all-time best-seller, we are invited to share the journey of joys and pains encountered by Pippa, who he renames Pilgrim, and the inevitable challenges that ensue. It begins at home when she suddenly trips and falls down stairs, and ends as she emerges from The Cloud of Unknowing. Caught between her natural inclinations to enjoy life and testing its worth, her various discussions make for a series of discernments in choosing what is truth as opposed to what the contemporary world offers as ‘dressed in truth’.

There are some really good laughs in this well written book about very basic matters. There are also both beautiful and profound moments in this fantastic and wholesome allegory as you meet Will Good and Con-sultant and a host of others. ‘On your journey’, advises Will, ‘every hill has a name, every path a purpose, every clearing a meaning’. Her little entries into a notebook replace the short poems in Bunyan’s narrative. The series of vivid illustrations by Harry Parke add to the depth of the narrative, quite excellent.

My tears of relief at the end signified how closely the author had taken me past milestones of reality through his character Pilgrim, which had lead through many familiar paths to the promise of heaven.

Damian SSF