20 June 2018

Review of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel

Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery TravelAlmost every tourist destination has a graveyard. You go to Yosemite National Park: there’s a graveyard. You go to Maui: graveyards everywhere you look. The Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: both graveyards. The number one tourist destination in Michigan has three cemeteries. America’s best-preserved Gold Rush ghost town has five. Gettysburg is a National Park because it has a graveyard. 

Some graveyards are even tourist destinations in themselves: the Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague, the colonial burying grounds of Boston, and Kennedy’s eternal flame in Arlington National Cemetery. Jim Morrison’s grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery ranks in the top five tourist sites of Paris. 

Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel contains 35 graveyard travel essays, which visit more than 50 cemeteries, churchyards, and gravesites across the globe. 

Over the past two decades, Loren Rhoads has visited literally hundreds of graveyards. She’s traveled to London’s Highgate Cemetery, strolled through the Paris Catacombs, seen Hollywood Forever pulled back from the brink of destruction, studied Native American graveyards in Michigan, explored a circuit minister’s churchyard on Maui, delved into the Protestant Cemetery of Rome and Zoshigaya Reien in Tokyo, and made stops in Prague, Boston, Los Angeles, Hiroshima, Yosemite, Sleepy Hollow, Gettysburg, and New Orleans along the way. Come along on her adventures.

Loren Rhoads was the creator of the cult nonfiction magazine Morbid Curiosity. She edited the book Death’s Garden: Relationships with Cemeteries and served as the monthly cemetery columnist at Gothic.Net for four years. Now she blogs about graveyards as travel destinations at CemeteryTravel.com.

I love cemeteries.

They are wonderful destinations of introspection and peace. I, like the author, enjoy rambling clusters of monument and headstones. Flat, manicured graves don't have the same character and as such, hold no appeal.

In the same way, I enjoy reading books that allow the reader to transport themselves into whatever destination is being recounted. The author gives such descriptions in "Wish You Were Here" that the reader has no trouble visualizing each place traveled. Each location has a different feel and the author conveys that perfectly. Not only do you get a full rendition of landscape, you also get a peek into the history of each venue.

Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel is just that; An invitation to walk the same paths with the author as your guide and lose yourself in some very memorable essays on the places where the living and the dead converse, and no one gets out alive.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to review.

Buy on Amazon (affiliate):
Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel

About the Author

Loren Rhoads

Loren is the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel.
She's co-author of Lost Angels and its sequel Angelus Rose, coming soon.
She is also the author of the space opera In the Wake of the Templars trilogy. All three books -- The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes -- came out in 2015.