Between 1990 and 1994, Colm Toibin made a series of trips through Catholic Europe. His journey led him into close contact with people from all walks of life, from priests to politicians, from the intellectually open to the spiritually bigoted. He then set down his impressions in this beautifully written book, filled with personal detail set within its historical context. "Colm Toibin writes beautifully in a spare style that allows for plain description, high humour and effects that are carefully toned. He is at once an honest, uncertain pilgrim with a press card and a sense of devilment, and a son on an Oedipal trail". ("Irish Times"). "A mixture of autobiography, travelogue and journalism which tantalizes the reader with what it withholds as much as it entertains and instructs with what it describes..."The Sign of the Cross", like all good writing, is a treat". ("Independent on Sunday"). "This book describing Colm Toibin's journey is written with the novelist's familiar clarity and wisdom. It is as much a record of the European Catholic psyche in different political climates as it is an introspective pilgrimage to see what stuff Toibin's own faith is made of". ("Daily Telegraph").