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Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#1 by Dphaber
» 01 Aug 2013, 03:42

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Dear Thailand: A Love Story" by Diane de Simone.]

Dear Thailand: A Love Story is the story of author Diane de Simone’s transformative self-journey in Thailand. It covers her original visit of one month, return to the United States, and the almost immediate decision to leave her old life behind and move to Thailand. It takes the reader through the powerful spiritual and personal growth which Simone experiences there, and in doing so gives quite a bit of insight into both Thai culture and Buddhism.

The book begins as a story of personal change, with a telling of a daughter’s reconnecting with her aging father on foreign soil. Freeing him from the retirement home where he’s been slowly fading, the two cut their ties with their old life and move to a small village in Thailand.

But the story soon changes and, true to its name, shows the story of the author’s love for a culture and a people far removed from those to which Simone had become accustomed to. It joins her as she explores cultural identities, questions fundamental ideas of her Western upbringing, and finds dear friends to help her navigate the storm of confusion and fears encountered on the journey.

What is perhaps most striking about Dear Thailand is the writing itself. Crafted in an initially somewhat jarring style, Simone vividly describes her adoptive home in a way that is almost poetic. Read in a peaceful place and receptive state of mind, the passages (patterned as letter addressed to- well, I’ll let you work that one out on your own) seem almost to sing. Secondhand, but with little value lost along the way, you experience the culture, religion, and way of life in a small and tight-knit Thai village. It’s refreshing and beautiful, and it left me wanting to jump on a plane and see it - experience it - for myself.

The book does, toward the end, begin to feel a little preachy. Though these passages are light-handed, I can see how some Westerners may be turned off somewhat. I would, however, recommend this book to anyone in need of a spiritual vacation. This story of a visit, an escape, and ultimately a homecoming asks the reader only to listen as it tells of peace, stillness, and a light, kind heart. I give this book 4 stars out of 4.

***
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#2 by dianejai
» 13 Sep 2013, 21:45

Ola...Dphaber..thank you...lovely to read about it through your eyes!
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#3 by slplair68
» 16 Oct 2013, 13:54

Great review! This story sounds very thought provoking and it sounds like the author has given the readers a complete landscape of the story. I will be reading this book soon! Thanks for a wonderful review.
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#4 by npandit
» 01 Apr 2014, 09:22

Wow, this sounds like an interesting book! :)
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#5 by KLyons1
» 03 Apr 2014, 21:56

I enjoyed my one visit to Thailand; sounds like this book will bring back some good memories!
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#6 by purplepeepleeater
» 15 May 2016, 08:48

Sounds like a great book!!
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#7 by gali
» 15 May 2016, 08:48

BOTD!!! Sounds like a an enchanting story with a lot of insight into both Thai culture and Buddhism. Seems like the author had quite a journey. Got my copy. 8)

Thank you and congratulations to the author on the great review! :tiphat:
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#8 by Leese
» 15 May 2016, 08:52

Just came across this as today's BOTD and after reading your review, it sounds like a book I'm really, really going to enjoy. I'm fascinated by different cultures and seeing how people across the world live, so it sounds like it's going to be right up my alley!
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#9 by Sarah G
» 15 May 2016, 08:53

What a great subject for a book! Will have to have a look into this:). Great review @Dphaber
The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#10 by shelley_soetosenojo
» 15 May 2016, 09:03

A spiritual vacation is definitely what I need right now. Will read the book right away! Thank you for a clear review!
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#11 by dina s
» 15 May 2016, 09:33

Shelley, I also need a spiritual vacation and this sounds like it is the book to read.
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#12 by bluemel4
» 15 May 2016, 09:38

Beautifully written review. I like that the author was able to find a creative way to share their passion for Thai culture and Buddhism. The story sounds inspirational and educational. I don't think I would be brave enough to pick up everything and move somewhere that was so jarring and culturally shocking. Congratulations to the author on the great review!
"Life is a journey, not a destination" --Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#13 by bookowlie
» 15 May 2016, 09:43

Great review! You really brought out the little things that made the book special. I like these types of books, where I can learn about the culture of a place I know very little about.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. - Dr. Seuss
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#14 by jungkookblog
» 15 May 2016, 10:34

Fantastic review! I love books where the person comes to a new country, and they have to get used to it. Plus, I get to know more about that culture. Got my copy already :D
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Re: Official Review: Dear Thailand: A Love Story

Post Number:#15 by StainedGlassTiger3
» 15 May 2016, 11:50

The way you described the narrative style has me intrigued. (It's almost like you were writing a book of your own.) Passages that "seem to sing..." Sounds lovely!
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