Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: Finding Compassion in China: A Bicycle Journey Into The Countryside

Finding Compassion in China: A Bicycle Journey into the CountrysideTitle: Finding Compassion In China: A Bicycle Journey Into the Countryside
Author: Cindie Cohagan
Publisher: Drifting Sands Press
Published: June 25, 2012
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir,
Format: Paperback
Pages: 242
Source: Received from author in
exchange for an  honest review.
Read: May 7-16th, 2013
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

By the time Tim and Cindie entered China, they had been traveling the globe by bicycle for three years. Cindie was ready to explore China’s interior, but what she wasn’t prepared for was the intense isolation that comes with not speaking the language, the scheming tactics of the Chinese government and the unexpected outpouring of kindness from the locals. Along the way the duo was arrested by the Chinese government, turned away from the only hotel in Siziwang Qui, thrown out of Internet cafes and called late at night by prostitutes. Yet whenever they needed food, shelter, or directions, the local people were there and willing to help—even if that “help” was scary at timesBy the time Tim and Cindie entered China, they had been traveling the globe by bicycle for three years. Cindie was ready to explore China’s interior, but what she wasn’t prepared for was the intense isolation that comes with not speaking the language, the scheming tactics of the Chinese government and the unexpected outpouring of kindness from the locals. Along the way the duo was arrested by the Chinese government, turned away from the only hotel in Siziwang Qui, thrown out of Internet cafes and called late at night by prostitutes. Yet whenever they needed food, shelter, or directions, the local people were there and willing to help—even if that “help” was scary at times.

Melissa's Musings:

I really enjoyed this book. The writing style is very simplistic, much like I imagine the method of journeying around the world on bicycles must be. The writing style encompasses and demonstrates the author's desire for a simpler life. A life consumed with less "stuff" and more actual living, and enjoying the little things life has to offer.

The story flows easily from one road adventure to the next, with lots of personal stories and anecdotes thrown in. When the author started to speak of her loneliness and distance from her then husband, I really felt for her. I can't imagine what it would be like to be in a country where I didn't speak the language, and having my traveling partner, the one person who I could communicate with distance themselves from me, would be difficult. I'm very curious about personal details in stories like these, so I was wondering about what happened between Cindie and Tim during that time, but there wasn't much of the dialogue and goings on between them within the book. I completely understand this, because their personal relationship issues are between them, but I must admit I was curious about the nitty gritty of what drove such a wedge between them and had them ending up going their separate ways.

The book also showcases some of the wonderful historical and spiritual sites that areas of China and the nearby countries have to offer. I learned a great deal from reading through the author's experiences at these sites. Cohagan also talks about how she found what she had been missing in the form of Buddhism on her travels throughout China. It must be wonderful to have taken such a grand, once in a lifetime trip, and also have such profound personal spiritual growth as well.

The book also makes the reader stop and think about whether they really need all the things they have, and whether they could get by with less. It also makes you appreciate the freedoms we possess that others around the world don't necessarily get the chance to enjoy.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes books about travel and culture


*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not in any way compensated for this review.*

1 comment:

kimbacaffeinate said...

This sounds good Michelle, and I would love to make a trek like this!