Meston's book is a sad autobiography. Born to world traveling hippie parents with no time for children, he spends his early childhood in a Tibetan family in Kathmandu. At six, following the wishes of her biological mother - now turned Buddhist nun - Daja is sent to a monastery and ordained a monk. At around ten he gets the chance to visit his relatives in the US and is deeply affected by the different lifestyle there.
In his teens Daja decides to leave the Buddhist order and make his way back to America. He ends up living with different relatives while learning and adapting to a new society, before meeting his wife to be, Phuni, a troubled Tibetan girl his age.
The book is gripping and the story is very sad. Writing it must have been cathartic to Meston. For me the most interesting part were the early passages, describing his early years in Kathmandu and in the monastery. This exotic life is described with candor and insight that few western writers possess. Meston is critical of the religious institutions and monastic life.
The later part of the book, describing his life and struggle in the US were not as appealing to me. They paint a picture of a young adult, deeply troubled by his past and the struggle to understand his mother's actions. The overall tone is somewhat depressing although the beautiful prose keeps you glued to the book.
The author's life story is exceptional and deserves to be read, there's a lesson for all of us.
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