Today, we’re exploring a title that’s going to take you to the ends of the earth, shatter your preconceived notions on several world tilting topics and eventually get you back in touch with solid ground, safe and sound. Does that happen for all our characters? Umm, I plead the fifth, BUT if you’re up to it, join me as we turn the page on our next book of choice: Jaya Nepal! by Martin David Hughes.
It reads very much like a memoir when in fact it is a work of fiction inspired by the author’s own experiences in Nepal. The fact that he can transport us there through the written word speaks volumes in regards to his writing. You can feel the exhilaration of that first landing in a strange new country. You can see the oddities that are the daily norm for a people so different and yet somewhat the same. You can feel the confusion settle in your skin as things that you abhor are presented in a different light making them almost seem to be the lesser of two evils. Grant it, they are not, but it’s striking enough to give you pause. From start to finish, it’s a lesson in giving of yourself for the greater good without losing yourself in the process. It’s a reminder that even our biggest wrongs can be righted with enough effort on our part; perhaps not with the outcome we wished, but still righted. It presents us with adventure (mountain climbing and altitude sickness!), the various faces of love, and humanity in its many forms.
All in all, I enjoyed my trip to Nepal and beyond with Benjamin and appreciate his appetite for life, love, and the pursuit of a better world. It’s not often you get to lend a hand in building a community one moment, get whisked away by a group of fellow Peace Corps members for a night of frivolity, and then jet set in pursuit of a love that might have been. It’s a mixed bag affair that’s all about landing on the path that leads to our ultimate self.
Thank you again, Gina, for your thorough, considerate, and eloquent review of Jaya Nepal!