Friday, March 5, 2021

Book Review: A Story of Karma

I feel like I'm on a non-fiction kick here, but that's alright. I do have a bit of a break before my next ones so don't worry. I'll give you time to catch up.  

Also, how pretty is this book cover? We should also give Jackson a round of applause because he made the little pom pom garland and that's a hint for our Etsy shop revival, so stay tuned. 

A Story of Karma - Michael Schauch

In 2012, Michael Schauch and his wife, Chantal, undertook an expedition deep in the Himalaya of northern Nepal, into a remote valley that had been closed off to outsiders for decades. They led a team of artists (a photographer, a musician, and a painter), with the objective of capturing a moment in time through their unique lenses. As a mountaineering fanatic, Michael had a second (and less conspicuous) goal to climb an unknown mountain he had only identified through a photograph. What unfolded in the mountains forced him to question his values and his own identity, and eventually resulted in meeting a little girl, which was the most profound encounter of his life. Little did either know that from that moment they would completely change the trajectory of each other’s life.

A Story of Karma recounts this journey, and the years that follow as Karma (the little girl), and Michael and Chantal grow their lives together amidst the complex dichotomies and backdrop of Karma’s 17th-century Himalayan village; the impoverished and polluted Kathmandu; and the modern world of Vancouver, Canada.
What a beautiful, beautiful story. If ever you wondered if there is something higher than us that subtly guides us the way we are meant to, I feel like this evaporates that. I couldn't put this one down, and I didn't realize how much I needed this kind of read. When the world seems so damn bleak, we need stories like this. 

We have family friends who have had the opportunity to travel the world and every year we look forward to their Christmas letter to read about their adventures. Also amazing is seeing all of the worldwide friendships they've accumulated from those travels. It makes me think that is the point of life; we are supposed to come together and learn from each other. Which is where this book comes in. 

The relationship that Michael and his wife have with Karma and her family is really one of the most heart-warming things I've read in a long time. What started as a trip to hike on a trip of a lifetime and developed into changing the life of two girls, their family, but also Michael and his wife. I also next to nothing about Nepal, so I learned so much about the country itself but also how education works (or doesn't, really) there. 

I know that many places in the world don't allow girls open access to education, or maybe don't value education as we do in the developed world. I always find that sad, but when I read stories like this where education is brought to people, the eagerness to learn is what makes me so happy. I love that the friendship between them all, that spans the globe, continues even now. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this quite a bit. It took me a solid Saturday to get through, and I read it on a weekend I was feeling especially low and what a good pick me up it was. The writing was solid, you feel like you're on this trip with them, and you'll find your good spirit in the world a little bit brighter. 

A huge thank you to Michael Schauch for providing a copy for review, I am honored to have been asked. I think this would be a great read even for a book club because it could invite the conversation on how you can have this effect on children in your community. Think of how lovely the world could be. 

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1 comment:

Why Girls Are Weird said...

This sounds like a book I need in my life right now, thank you!