I really liked the premise of this book. Pilgrimages have always been a part of human society, undertaken by few but believed to hold great rewards for those who make the effort to complete one. I loved the way Arkie's pilgrimage was to our quintessentially Australian Big Things - ie The Big Cow, Pineapple, Prawn, Banana, Mower etc rather than having to go somewhere spiritually significant and/or geographically remote. Arkie's quest to renew and rebuild herself is understandable and being of a similar age to Arkie I could relate to that concept on many levels. Having grown up close to the Big Pineapple and Big Cow, this book was also a nostalgic journey for me.
On a separate note, Arkie's Pilgrimage to the Next Big Thing showed just how our society has changed and evolved within the past few decades and had me yearning just a little for a time when a "big" fibreglass object on the side of the highway was a genuine tourist destination.
Overall I did like this book. Although I found some of the elements a little too quirky for my taste, there were many positive and inspirational messages intertwined within the story and ultimately it did work. I think I would have probably liked it more if the beginning was a bit more believable. The story did get better as it moved along and the conclusion was both satisfying and realistic.