What can the Taj Mahal do for you?
I don’t really have a bucket list but if I did I would now have to add the Taj Mahal. I’ve just read a book that describes it so wonderfully that I almost wanted to book flights then and there. I also decided to buy this book for my sisters as it has several story lines that resonate with our lives at the moment. My younger sister thought that the title made it sound very high brow, but once I explained that it had a pink cover she was keen. What is it about the type of books that have pastel covers? What is it? “Heavenly Hirani’s School of Laughing Yoga“by New Zealand author Sarah-Kate Lynch.
Unfortunately for New Zealand authors, buying this book anywhere else in the world was prohibitively expensive. It was suggested that I buy the kindle version but I am an old fashion type of girl so I have bought two copies in New Zealand and will ship them back to the UK. Hopefully that will be a cheaper option and will introduce a new audience to this author.
I myself have never been to India. Hubby, who has been everywhere thanks to the British Government or more accurately my taxes, has undoubtedly been there several times, if I ask him he has probably looked at the Taj Mahal from the window of the nearest Irish bar, something he has sadly done in many of the most beautiful and amazing places in the world. I don’t begrudge him, he’s a Philistine through and through but he does mix a great Margarita.
Just like the author and the character in this book, I was never sure I even wanted to go to India, it is such a country of contrast and extremes. But reading this book has made me want to go and explore this diverse and culturally rich country, as has the Kevin McCloud documentary mentioned in the footnotes at the back of the book. In fact, I have invited both my sisters to come with me when our children are grown. Unfortunately my older sister has quite selfishly had a beautiful daughter somewhat later in life, so it’s looking like we won’t be going till she’s 60. My one consolation is that at least I will have time to save!
This book explores loss, empty nest syndrome and heartache that many of us would struggle with. It made me laugh and cry as Annie tried to find her place in the world after one too many knocks. I empathized with her losses, her nervousness about such a foreign country and her inability to deal with the changes that we all face on our life journeys. This book was an uplifting soulful tale that left me better at the end of it.
And if a book does nothing else for us but this then surely that is enough. Until next time.
Reviewed by Corinna Carew