This is a biographical book where the author travels across the globe interviewing Buddhist nuns. She has presented their stories here in a way that was absolutely delightful to read. Being a Westerner, raised in a conservative Christian community, the only exposure I’ve had to Buddhism was seeing them in the airports when I was a kid. I have, though, always had a curiosity about other religions and cultures, so this book seemed like a good way to learn a little bit about these women. I was not disappointed! Ms. Toomey traveled to Nepal, Burma, Japan, the West Coast, Britain and France to meet these women, some of them well-known for the lives they led before becoming nuns, others known only in their own communities. All of the stories were fascinating and along the way the reader gets an introduction to the Buddhist faith (turns out it is not a demonic cult as I was told). Even if you have no interest in being a Buddhist, there is much in these stories to admire and inspire you. These women are not weaklings locking themselves away in a convent, but vibrant personalities who, in some cases, have endured much hardship. Hats off to Ms. Toomey for this beautifully crafted book!
Who would enjoy this book? Those who like biographies, who have an interest in different lifestyles, cultures, or religions.
What age is this book appropriate for? Older teenagers on up. There is nothing really graphic, but there is a chapter where she discusses the sexual abuse scandals of recent years.
Rating: I give “In Search of Buddha’s Daughters” a THUMBS-UP. Definitely a good read.
This book is set to be released in March 2016. Thanks to NetGalley for making a preview copy available.