THE HOLY MAN'S JOURNEY by Susan Trott

THE HOLY MAN'S JOURNEY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Sequel to Trott's The Holy Man (1995), which hit the bestseller lists--in San Francisco--for weeks. Trott has written ten novels, including Divorcing Daddy (1992). This modest story picks up with enlightened Anna and snide husband Errol and their two small kids still at the Holy Man's retreat on a sacred mountain in an Eastern country. Joe the Holy Man, now in failing health in his mid-70s, wants to go down the mountain for the first time in 25 years and see his mentor, Chen, for a farewell visit. As it happens, Chen is 25 years younger than Joe and has built a ``Univers-City,'' where 2,500 young disciples pay to keep Chen in luxury. Joe and Anna have several minor adventures on their way to Chen, and from each Anna learns something new via Joe's wisdom. During a visit to a shop, Anne is nearly raped but learns to accept blame for putting herself in danger's way. From a cab driver with an obsession to collect rare clay pots she learns about repressed creativity. From three beggar women she learns how to help the deprived feel worthy. Anna, it turns out, also has a gift for healing. At last she and Joe meet Chen, a Chinese genius who grew up in a Cambodian monastery before becoming Joe's teacher. Chen sees Joe as a great trickster, and when Joe dies offstage as Chen is speaking to his huge student body in the Univers-City auditorium, it's an act that an astonished Chen calls Joe's greatest trick. When Chen and Anna carry the old man's sweet-smelling corpse back to his monastery for burial, Anna discovers that her abrasive husband has seemingly run off with the kids. Meanwhile, Joe's death serves to jolt Chen back to reality. All right, mildly entertaining, but clearly for the already pre-sold.

Pub Date: March 17th, 1997
ISBN: 1-57322-057-4
Page count: 148pp
Publisher: Riverhead
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1997




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