Saturday, August 28, 2010

Not an Ill Wind by Nancy Gettelman

I learned a lot in an easy-going way, much easier, in fact, than the people who populated this story. I refer to the very interesting trip to Tibet, the amount of information about the country, the history, and Buddhism, while the travelers taking the trip suffered greatly on their actual journey.

Therein lies the mystery, always on the edge of the story causing a feeling of discomfort without an event to explain it. Who are the two Chinese men who the travelers catch glimpses of along the way? Why are there no reservations made for their journey? Why did their host and travel guide turn the group over to his Sherpa wife who obviously does not have a clue to handling a tour, nor does she speak any English. These are the questions that kept me going right through the book, the discomfort growing quickly and the mystery slowly building.

This was a most interesting read, entertaining and teaching, with a satisfying final solution when the reader discovers that most of the travelers are not who we imagined; some were not who they said they were, others were taking the trip for different reasons. Even our main character is keeping mum about what she hopes to gain other than the insights of the trip itself. What she hopes will come of this trip are answers to a relationship, how true her feelings are in this older woman/younger man relationship, and whether she should stop it or pursue it. But the reader must read to the very end to learn what that resolution will be, quite apart from the resolution of the mystery.
Nancy Gettelman has a very distinct style of writing, like a conversation with a friend relating incidents that have happened to her within the story. Her books are diverse. For a good read, informative, mysterious, and satisfying, I highly recommend this delightful and adventurous author.

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