On the Road to Spiritual Awakening

Jersey native Katherine Sherbrooke draws from her own spiritual journey in her new book, "Fill the Sky."

Jersey-born writer Katherine A. Sherbrooke, author of Fill the Sky.
Jersey-born writer Katherine A. Sherbrooke, author of Fill the Sky.
Photo by Melissa Forman

Ellie has been diagnosed with terminal cancer; she has six months to live, maybe less. Her two best friends—Tess and Joline—are determined to help her beat the disease. When Joline suggests a trip to Ecuador to work with shamans, Tess is skeptical but agrees for Ellie’s sake. So begins a journey of spiritual awakening that will challenge the women physically and emotionally.

Written by Jersey native Katherine A. Sherbrooke, Fill the Sky—due October 20 from SixOneSeven Books—examines our relationships with nature, with our bodies and with others, while addressing big-picture questions such as the meaning of a full life.

fill-the-sky“I see it very much as a hopeful book,” says Sherbrooke. “In general, we basically have at our disposal the ability to heal ourselves.”

Sherbrooke got the idea for the book on her travels to Peru and Ecuador, where she participated in many of the rituals mentioned in the novel. On one trip, she took part in an ayahuasca ceremony, drinking a hallucinatory brew made from an ancient vine.

On the other hand, Sherbrooke says, Ellie’s illness was simply a plot point until two of her real-life sisters were diagnosed with cancer. Both are now cancer free, but their experiences helped Sherbrooke understand what it’s like to face such a devastating diagnosis. She says the book should inspire readers to reflect on healing and personal growth. “I’m hoping it creates conversation,” she says.

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