I tried to like The High Mountains of Portugal and failed. That doesn't mean the other, more cultured or more intelligent people won't.
Some of it is very entertaining. In the first part. Homeless, Tomas has lost his wife, his child and his father. In a paroxysm of continuing grief,he walks backwards and then fixates on finding a particular cross and eventually sets out guided by the diary of Father Ulisses' to find it in, well, the church in The High Mountains of Portugal. That isn't the entertaining part...the entertaining part is in 1904 Tomas struggles mightily to learn to drive and maintain the car his uncle gives him to use in his quest.
In Part Two: Homeward, we jump to 1934 and a bizarre theory that connects the novels of Agatha Christie to the life of Christ. I guess
they are all mysteries. The theory is being explained to a pathologist, at work by his wife. An old peasant woman appears with her husband's body in a bag. She has traveled all the way from The High Mountains of Portugal and demands the pathologist perform an autopsy on her husband.
Part Three- Home and now it's 1981. A Canadian Senator, Peter Tovy, of Portuguese ancestry has lost his wife, Clara. In his grief and on an official trip to the States, he adopts a chimpanzee. Then he winds up all his affairs in Canada and moves to The High Mountains of Portugal. At the very end, these three seemingly unrelated stories are tied together.
I am guessing the book is about grief and the strange ways that we deal with it. It's a little too strange for me but I'm a concrete kind of person. Don't take my word, try reading it yourself.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.