On The Primitive Way by Landon Roussel

On the Primitive Way recounts two Texan Brothers’ pilgrimage on the Way of St James, or El Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Commencing in Oviedo Spain, the author, the older brother, chronicles their journey through the mountains of Asturias that brought them together after over a decade of estrangement due to the younger brother’s drug abuse, addiction and imprisonment. As they endure torrential rains, blindsiding blizzards and grueling climbs, the author comes to realize that the real challenge is not to survive the elements but to reconcile with his brother after a tumultuous past.

About the Author

41ZFc6HoEmL._UX250_Landon Roussel is a three-time pilgrim on the Way of Saint James. He written articles on the Camino for magazines such as El Peregrino and La Concha. He was encouraged to write his first book, On the Primitive Way, after the death of his brother Cory, with whom he had walked the Camino just before he died. He also hosts a blog site, Communitas Blog. When he is not writing he is a primary care doctor and father of two. He lives with his wife in Saint James Parish, Louisiana with their two children.

Author of OnthePrimitiveWay.com
Blogger at CommunitasBlog.com
Doctor at CommunitasPrimaryCare.com

My Thoughts

Author Dr. Landon Roussel sent me a private email several weeks ago, asking me to review his powerful book, On The Primitive Way.  It is a true story, a memoir, of a relationship that was birthed in blood.  It is the story of a relationship rooted in estrangement, addiction, struggle, fight, and survival.  It is a story of healing.

Dr. Roussel and his brother were inseparable as children.  When Cory turned to drugs as a teen, the long separation between them ended with Cory spending hard time in the Federal prison.  During that time, Cory read material, purposely determining to end up in solitary confinement because he desired the quiet, allowed seeds to be planted which would blossom in a journey along the Way of St. James, The Primitive Way.

The author shares in vivid, often heart wrenching detail, the frustration he felt as the brother of an addict, constantly reaching out to help, and being refused.  Once the trip began, the challenge of the elements and nature were symbolic of the challenges in their hearts: Cory, of his addictions, and Landon, the burying of the destruction and chaos created by his brother.

The peak of this story is the reconciliation of the author and his brother.  Sadly, as with many, their reconciliation came just before death.  The murder of Cory brought an end to his struggle, but had already created the beautiful memories of the Way that brought them together as brothers in blood, and Christ.

As I read this book, I could not help but think what a tool this book could be for every person and family struggling through addictions of family members or friends.  I also found this powerful message throughout its pages : Time is short. Cherish every moment for it may be our last.

I encourage you to read On The Primitive Way. It will be a strength during struggle, and encouragement for those who seem on a hopeless path.

Thank you to author Landon Roussel for a copy of his memoir in exchange for this honest review.