Alicia116, July 13, 2008 (view all comments by Alicia116)
Humorous, engagingly written with Western style (with a down-under accent) about her her adventures and excursions from India's serving platter of spiritual offerings.
Part anthropolgy, part memoir, and all humor -with a hint of pathos, Macdonald does for India and its faiths, and peoples, what Candace Bushenll did for New York singles in "Sex and the City".
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Australian radio correspondent Macdonald's rollicking memoir recounts the two years she spent in India when her boyfriend, Jonathan, a TV news correspondent, was assigned to New Delhi. Leaving behind her own budding career, she spends her sabbatical traveling around the country, sampling India's 'spiritual smorgasbord': attending a silent retreat for Vipassana meditation, seeking out a Sikh Ayurvedic 'miracle healer,' bathing in the Ganges with Hindus, studying Buddhism in Dharamsala, dabbling in Judaism with Israeli tourists, dipping into Parsi practices in Mumbai, visiting an ashram in Kerala, attending a Christian festival in Velangani and singing with Sufis. Paralleling Macdonald's spiritual journey is her evolution as a writer; she trades her sometimes glib remarks ('I've always thought it hilarious that Indian people chose the most boring, domesticated, compliant and stupidest animal on earth to adore') and 1980s song title references (e.g., 'Karma Chameleon') for a more sensitive tone and a sober understanding that neither mocks nor romanticizes Indian culture and the Western visitors who embrace it. The book ends on a serious note, when September 11 shakes Macdonald's faith and Jonathan, now her husband, is sent to cover the war in Afghanistan. Macdonald is less compelling when writing about herself, her career and her relationship than when she is describing spiritual centers, New Delhi nightclubs and Bollywood cinema. Still, she brings a reporter's curiosity, interviewing skills and eye for detail to everything she encounters, and winningly captures '[t]he drama, the dharma, the innocent exuberance of the festivals, the intensity of the living, the piety in playfulness and the embrace of living day by day.' Agent, Fiona Henderson. (On sale Apr. 13) Forecast: A print ad campaign and media attention could draw in armchair travelers and spiritual seekers, and the book's quirky, hot pink jacket will definitely catch browsers' eyes." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
When the love of MacDonald's life is posted to India, she quits her dream job to move to the most polluted city on earth, New Delhi. From spiritual retreats and crumbling nirvanas to war zones and New Delhi nightclubs, this is a journey that only a woman on a mission to save her soul, her love life — and her sanity — can survive.
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