What others are saying about Winkies, Toilets and Holy Places :
A classic travel tale, with adventure, misadventure, and curlie-q unexpected turns in the road. But more than that, it’s a voyage in which a family discovers what matters most to them — across America, and Europe, without a dime to spare — this is not the travel of pretty picture books: from marital squabbles to homesick children, from a haunting island monastery to the pure pleasure of simple farmhouse fare. They travel moment to moment — some, staggeringly beautiful — gently swinging in cable car above the Swiss Alps — and others, staggeringly real, as when the cable car ride makes one of the boys sick to his stomach, with nowhere to go. All of this, Merrill recounts with the gentle humor of an experienced pastor, the wavering resolve of a stepfather, and the openhearted joy of a man rekindling his wanderlust. Read this tale if you’re seeking a window to the Europe not of guidebooks and picture books, but of human hearts finding that home is everywhere.
—Paul Shepherd, former Writer-in-Residence and Kingsbury Fellow at Florida State University, whose debut novel, More Like Not Running Away was the winner of the 2004 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction.