VIRGIN TERRITORY was published in March 2010. I’m updating this page on December 16, 2013, surprised and gratified that I’m still receiving reader feedback. I haven’t done a lot to promote VIRGIN TERRITORY, but evidently it’s finding a readership through word of mouth. I´m grateful for the readers who take time to tell me directly what the book has meant to them. And a BIG thanks to those who post their comments on Amazon!
I’m full of awe, envy, admiration & appreciation. LOVE it. The writing is terrific, a seamless blend of anecdote, confession, backstory, and analysis of what we take for wisdom. Very impressive. I’ve read a lot of “I moved to Mexico” books, but yours tops all. Whew!! And to think I nearly gave the Women’s lunch a miss. Please save me 5 from your dwindling supply–I can think of that many readers and more.
I have been reading your marvelous book and really enjoyed your sense of humor and the topics that you cover!!! I really love the way you express yourself in such an easy but yet deep manner. I went to Mexico City in November to see the Basilica so that I could see the Tilma for myself after reading what it was like for you to see as a child. How marvelous that you got exposed to the beauty of Mexico at such an early age. Your appreciation and value for the Mexican way of life is so evident and I can totally relate. D. Simmons, Dallas, TX
Susan: I have been slowly working myself through the books I’ve wanted to read since we left Mexico. Among them was yours, and it was a delightful read. I not only learned a great deal about the Virgin of Guadalupe, but all about you and your life. I was impressed by your candor, particularly in terms of your struggle with your faith, and the health issues you faced after your move to Mexico. The interweaving of the Mexican aspects of the book with your own thoughts and experiences worked well, (frankly much better than I would have imagined if someone had explained it to me beforehand).
Thanks as well for giving me a opportunity to get to know a bit about yourself. I was most impressed, both with you and with your skill as a writer.” C. Coplea, Westport, Ontario
“Oh Susan…I just this morning finished VT! WOW! What an incredible journey you have been on my friend. I really had no idea where the story was going to go, but all I can say is, I wish I could give you a BIG HUG right now! Can you feel it? You are doing some amazing work on the planet dear!” K. Sessions Lubbock TX
“I thought the letter to yourself as a young girl was brilliant and poignant. A very moving book, Susan. You should be proud of it and all of the good it has done and will do for others. It does speak to the heart!” A. Dean, San Antonio, TX
Virgin Territory is a must read especially if you find yourself at a cross-roads on your life’s journey. I certainly can relate to this as I was certainly at that point when I needed to face myself and make important changes that have enabled me to find the “real” me and shed not only unwanted pounds but shed thinking that was keeping me a prisoner to obesity. What I love about the author’s compelling story (once I started the book I didn’t stop until I finished it!) is the honesty with which she shared her soul-wrenching experiences. I believe that success in life is the direct result of honesty coupled with a willingness to keep searching until you find answers. Connie Pierce Author of My Journey of Real Life Weight Loss, How I Lost 180 lbs
“I’ve always been afraid that if I wrote a book, that funny quote would apply: “once you put it down, it’s hard to pick up again.” Well, my dear friend, that certainly doesn’t apply to you! Even though I had many other new morsels in my Kindle, I wasn’t even a little bit tempted to interrupt my reading of Virgin Territory. I found it compelling reading, moving and thought-provoking, funny and also just plain interesting.” HH, Dallas
You are truly a writer, Susan. I wouldn’t have thought I could be interested in Mexican history or folklore, but you made it so fun to read that I wouldn’t have stopped short of the end, if the plane hadn’t landed. MD Seattle, WA
We just returned from a trip to Mexico. The highlight of my trip was to not only discover a great book in a local gallery but to meet the author. After reading the first few chapters, I discovered that the place Susan Cobb had expatriated to was in a town shortly north of where we were staying. Since I had already decided to select this book for our next book club meeting, we went searching for the house. I wanted to take photos to supplement the descriptions in the book. “Virgin Territory” is not only about Susan’s move to Mexico, but more so about religious beliefs, traditions and history and how they can affect our decisions. I often found myself chuckling out loud. I learned so much- even the meaning of my name ‘Mary’–someone who can be a troublemaker for one. Since I was nervy enough to ring Susan’s bell it may be why she autographed my copy ‘To Mary Ann A real Mary’. Susan was gracious and invited us in for limonade, a tour of the house, photos and a long chat. I was anxious to return to our rental and finish the book. I was not disappointed and in the end realized a few changes that I will make in my life. I highly recommend this book. It is an easy read and I guarantee you will learn something new. Mary Ann, Seattle, WA
“Like reading a coming of age story for mature adults. Truly a fascinating read. The author weaves tales of the Virgin in many different forms into her own personal history.” —Kay Lindahl, author of The Sacred Art of Listening and founder of The Listening Center
“For the first time in my life, I am proud of my name!” Lupita Cuevas, La Penita, MX
“My goodness, when we talked about you writing a book a couple or so years back, never did I realize that you would create what is bound to be a “Classic” in Women’s Studies. It is, at once, autobiographical, historical, and theological. I treasure it!” Rev. PLP, Capistrano Beach, CA
I read and finished your book quickly; the story really drew me in. Congratulations on a really well-written book. It is a poignant story of searching and, as you say in the epilogue, that “goes on forever.” AD, Vancouver
“A charming, thoughtful and wonderful journey, bringing to light an idea that is timely and riveting.” —Lynne Bundesen, author of So the Woman Went Her Way and The Feminine Spirit: Recapturing the Heart of Scripture
“I loved many aspects of your writing and will order several copies when available. I loved the personal story and the thread of the Virgin from early on in childhood and how it manifests in the present. I also loved the historical pieces. Your work with your body and the cast, and role of your partner are also so affirming, both to what I do and the women I service.” VI, Calgary
“I just finished your book which, by the way, was my “virgin” experience with reading a book on my new Kindle – I thought that was quite appropriate. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for writing this book. You put into writing so much of what I’ve been thinking the past 20 years. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that I am just so grateful that you had the courage to write this and share it with the rest of us. It is one of those books that I will read and reference several times over.” VP, New Hampshire
“An intensely personal, often humorous adventure into a feminine landscape, into the heart of Mexico and of Guadalupe herself. Cobb becomes a pioneer for every-woman as she finds the source of her inner strength, rebellion and healing, her own ‘inner Mary.’” —Becky Kemery, author of Yurts: Living in the Round
“Do you remember me? I just finished your book and LOVED it. Thank you so much for your honesty. I could really relate. JE, Los Angeles
I am more than half way through your book… I was laughing my ass off when I read Larry’s comment about “Don’t die and leave me here, I don’t speak spanish!”… Remember Galpal Guadalupe, I have your back!….Hola Galpal, I am about 3/4 of the way through your amazing journey, aka, the “book”… and I was thinking about a few of my friends, some who have made it to our “neck of the woods.” I would like to hijack five copies of your cargo. DD, Boston
“Dear Susan, (that’s how I am thinking of you this morning!) I loved your last chapter – your letter to yourself. I was crying, because so much of you have had the guts to put into writing for all the world to read, are things that happened to me as well when I was a child. TA, Ontario
“I just read the Warp and Woof of Life, couldn’t stop reading it! Your book is wonderful, wish I’d written it! TPR, Los Angeles
Stayed up til 1am reading!! finished it this morning…Was teary eyed by the end..loved it..guess Oprah will be calling next!!” ….(one week later) Just finished reading your book for the second time! Loved it even more. If you want me to write or send a review or comment let me know. SP, San Antonio, TX
Paul told me last night that he read your book. He said that you are “talented beyond words”… just thought you’d like to know!” AW, Minneapolis and La Penita
“Well, I’m almost through. I have about 50 pages to read. I love how the tiny virgins seem to be placed somewhere and then their tiny footprints are left as they journey where they want to be placed. Your transformation is powerful and brave and I applaud you. I love to see people step outside of their religious upbringing and find what they truly believe in. CBG, Orange, CA
“Reading Virgin Territory is one of the finest reading experiences I’ve had this year…learning a lot about myself that I actually like.” Paul Peck
I just finished reading your book. That was some really gutsy writing! I enjoyed it a lot. – DE, Arlington, VA
What a great voice. You are probably too smart for your own good, but when applied to a story like the one you told it is a pleasure to hear you think out loud about truths we all grapple with. In short, I loved the book. Many kudos. I’m one satisfied reader. Thanks for sharing.CW, NY NY Sent from my iPhone
“Whoa! I learned a lot in that little book of yours. I will have to read it again to get some more of it into my long-term memory. What a journey and of course knowing you and sharing the life in Mexico makes the book and your insights even more delicious.” Victor J Y, Ajijic, Mexico
10:38 pm – I finished reading Virgin Territory just now, blew my nose more than once and washed away tear-soaked mascara from under my eyes. I found myself sobbing through the last 3 chapters and holding fast to my inner Guadalupe…That was a marathon-read for me. I hadn’t read a book non-stop in two days for many years. VN, Azusa, CA
Hi Susan…been thinking of you and hope you’re well. I loved Virgin Territory and all of your descriptions of life in Mexico. The final chapter had me in tears. . . a very beautiful memoir. TR, Los Angeles
Just got Virgin Territory in the mail today at 10am and am in chapter 10. (Had to take a break for kids and dinner!) Girl, you are my soul-mate. We need to talk. ….. Finished it today. It is breathtakingly beautiful, Susan. A powerful portrait of a powerful lady! (And yes, you are well on your way to formidable!) Bravo! Hugs!….thank you for sharing your journey. I know now that I am not alone, but in the company of great and self-aware women. Mwah! DMW, Dallas
Susan, I sat by the pool this afternoon and read through half of your book. I cannot wait to read the rest. What a great read! I am so proud of you!!! AW, La Penita and Minneapolis
Hi Susan! Jim and I are coming to PV in May. We are reading your book…..LOVE IT! I can totally relate to you and your journey. If fact, in the chapter “Who Are You, Lady?” , you could have been talking about me! PSG, San Antonio, TX
Just wanted to let you know that I finished reading your book and thoroughly enjoyed it! Way to Go! CS, R de Guayabitos
I can’t tell you how much I’m still enjoying your book. Not finished quite yet though. I think I might need a few more copies. How many did I have last time we met? I think we’re going to start a Chacala book club with yours being the obvious one to start with. EG, Chacala, MX
“My Kindle says I am at 60% of the way through Virgin Territory…loving it all the way. People on the plane with me must have wondered why I kept laughing aloud. Seattle was great…and your writings made the going and coming a delight.” LGH Iowa City
You have chosen, as Juan Diego did, to follow the inspirations of your heart and though there may be some criticism, I’m sure he never regretted his actions. LD, Rockport, TX
The responses above were taken from unsolicited emails and letters. Here is a response, warts and all, from a British book editor.
thank you for this amazing book! there must be a better word for this delicious literature. When I travelled to Guayabitos the first time in 2007, for a time of searching, little did I know that my future husband was waiting for me there! Your book has touched me deeply, as I am falling in love with Mexico and Guadalupe with deep gratitude! I hope to knock on your door in January/February 2011. Barenda
Barenda, I’ll look forward to meeting you. YOU are one of those that says “Ah!, Guaya beeee tos!”
Dear Susan: Jan DeLacy recommended your book, which I downloaded on Kindle and read on the plane en route to Italy. The best way to read it – in one sitting. So much of what you mention I can relate to. The struggles with a Christian Science way of life has me wondering some times. Physical challenges and the way Christian Scientists deal with them are not always as cut and dried as we have been taught.
Thanks for your honesty and “coming out” as they say these days. Such a great help! I’m going to read it again.
Noticed so many “feminine” qualities in Italy while spending three weeks there recently. Santa Maria is everywhere!
Thanks for writing, Doug. It’s so good hearing from men. I’m working on a blog post about guys in touch with their Inner Guadalupe. It’s becoming clear to me that that term really refers to the authentic, un-invaded, unbroken and totally intact core of everyone’s being. Virgin qualities. Now exploring what LIVING from that place entails….oh, man!
Thanks, Jan. You’re RIGHT. It was difficult. Had a wonderful editor who kept dragging it out of me, demanding more of the story. But, whew, it feels good having it OUT there. Thanks for your support!
Just wanted to let you know that I read your book recently and was touched by the honesty and humor of your spiritual journey. Part of me thinks it would have been a very difficult book to write and another part of me knows that when the impulse comes to share it’s hard to hold back! Thanks for the gift you have given by responding to the impulse! Also, your connection with Mexico resonated with me and my love of Guatemala. There is so much to be learned by getting “inside” other cultures. I’ve already loaned the book to a friend and the sharing will continue. Jan