Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: The First Noble Truth by C Lynn Murphy

The First Noble Truth
By C Lynn Murphy
Genre: Literary Fiction

Available on Amazon!

Machiko Yamamoto pulls out her hair, picks at her skin, and triple checks the locks to the house behind the school where she works. When a foreigner moves into a neighboring thatched roof cottage, she quickly falls in love with the quiet woman with the mangled hand.

Krista Black does not mind the weekly visits from the local English teacher. The scarred woman seems harmless, but she always wants to talk about travel and language and why Krista has come to the remote, Japanese village. Krista avoids her questions. She has seen much of the world, and she knows what it does to fragile people. Machiko may want to know her, but she could never understand her.

Set in Kyoto, New England, Africa and Kathmandu, THE FIRST NOBLE TRUTH is a story of redemption, interwoven between two protagonists, across two cultures. It peers beneath the comfort of expected storytelling to investigate the dualities of suffering and joy, religion and sex, and cruelty and kindness.

My Review

I am surprised how the author could write a book containing death, sadness, and suffering while leaving me with a peaceful feeling at the end. The two main characters are Machiko Yamamoto and Krista Black. Two different women from two very different ways of life. They spark a friendship around traveling, language, and culture.  

I enjoyed the in-depth background given about each protagonist and especially appreciated how mental illness was treated vastly different in the two lifestyles. The First Noble Truth is a beautiful story about friendship, the dark and light within life, and the will to keep moving forward.

Author Info

Lynn Murphy was born in New Hampshire, but has since lived in Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, England, Nepal, India, and Mongolia. She also spent a year backpacking across the African continent for kicks.

She is a doctoral candidate in Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a graduate of St Andrews University (M.A.) and Oxford University (MPhil).

Whilst a resident at a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery in the Himalayas, she wrote her first book, 'The First Noble Truth.'

She currently lives between Mongolia and the UK, where she is conducting fieldwork on post-Soviet economies of the funeral industry and their impact on contemporary Mongolian cultural and religious identity.

She writes, she knits, she eats mutton.

Her website is:

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