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An exhilarating memoir about one woman’s globe-trotting journey of inspiring awakening and self-discovery. Shaken by the loss of her father, drained by her job at the United Nations, and conflicted over failed relationships, Natasha Scripture asked herself the question at the heart of her anxiety: What is my purpose? The answer was not about finding love; it was about r An exhilarating memoir about one woman’s globe-trotting journey of inspiring awakening and self-discovery. Shaken by the loss of her father, drained by her job at the United Nations, and conflicted over failed relationships, Natasha Scripture asked herself the question at the heart of her anxiety: What is my purpose? The answer was not about finding love; it was about recognizing its source. The result is Man Fast, a true and intimate spiritual detective story.With courage, honesty, and wit, Natasha shares the story of her awakening. Starting with the decision to fast from dating, she embarks on a journey that takes her from New York to an ashram in southern India to toiling in a vineyard on Mount Etna to a solo safari in southern Tanzania. In stepping away from the modern demand to couple up, Natasha finally finds a reflective space where she can be fully aware: of her grief, of her identity, and of love as a mystical, ever-present force.An antidote to a culture that prizes finding the right man, Man Fast is an emotionally charged journey that leaves us with a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Revised edition: This edition of Man Fast includes editorial revisions.


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An exhilarating memoir about one woman’s globe-trotting journey of inspiring awakening and self-discovery. Shaken by the loss of her father, drained by her job at the United Nations, and conflicted over failed relationships, Natasha Scripture asked herself the question at the heart of her anxiety: What is my purpose? The answer was not about finding love; it was about r An exhilarating memoir about one woman’s globe-trotting journey of inspiring awakening and self-discovery. Shaken by the loss of her father, drained by her job at the United Nations, and conflicted over failed relationships, Natasha Scripture asked herself the question at the heart of her anxiety: What is my purpose? The answer was not about finding love; it was about recognizing its source. The result is Man Fast, a true and intimate spiritual detective story.With courage, honesty, and wit, Natasha shares the story of her awakening. Starting with the decision to fast from dating, she embarks on a journey that takes her from New York to an ashram in southern India to toiling in a vineyard on Mount Etna to a solo safari in southern Tanzania. In stepping away from the modern demand to couple up, Natasha finally finds a reflective space where she can be fully aware: of her grief, of her identity, and of love as a mystical, ever-present force.An antidote to a culture that prizes finding the right man, Man Fast is an emotionally charged journey that leaves us with a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Revised edition: This edition of Man Fast includes editorial revisions.

30 review for Man Fast: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Suzette

    Thank goodness this was a free book from amazon first reads. A good editor needed on this one

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zhelana

    Once again, I don't know completely what to think. It's the story of a woman whose father dies, and she goes a little nuts and runs off to find herself. Along the way she makes a few promises to herself - sobriety and no men. She gets around both of them on technicalities deciding that marijuana is not alcohol so it doesn't count, and a woman is not a man, so it doesn't count either. Along the way she marries herself, which is exactly as nuts as it sounds, goes to several spiritual retreats, and Once again, I don't know completely what to think. It's the story of a woman whose father dies, and she goes a little nuts and runs off to find herself. Along the way she makes a few promises to herself - sobriety and no men. She gets around both of them on technicalities deciding that marijuana is not alcohol so it doesn't count, and a woman is not a man, so it doesn't count either. Along the way she marries herself, which is exactly as nuts as it sounds, goes to several spiritual retreats, and finally goes on a writer's retreat where, presumably, she writes her memoirs. I was glad that this didn't turn into "how I found my man" (or woman I guess), but I was left wondering what the point was. Like, she has all these spiritual occasions, and then goes back to her job in New York without incorporating any of them into her life. She talks at one point about how important nature is to her and how she couldn't get in touch with nature in New York, but then she never discusses how she is going to incorporate nature afterwards, so we're left with the feeling that there's going to be "Man Fast Part II" where she does it all again, because she once again got stuck in the rat race. In order to combat this she says she's going to study the Gita, but that bares no resemblance to any of the things she has done to find herself at all. Just, I don't know. She also gets preachy at the end as if she wanted to say something, but wasn't quite sure what, but felt the need to get something out there. I think this contributed to my opinion that this was a book about nothing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Richard Propes

    I read this book rather quickly, partly because it's a breezy read and partly because I was so incredibly anxious to get it finished. I understand that from the author's experience this was a personally rewarding and likely very vulnerable exercise in self-revelation. I get that. I appreciate that. But, I can't change how I experienced the book. In some ways, it felt very much like the Chip Gaines book - written in a disorganized, meandering way; incredibly self-absorbed to the point of narcissi I read this book rather quickly, partly because it's a breezy read and partly because I was so incredibly anxious to get it finished. I understand that from the author's experience this was a personally rewarding and likely very vulnerable exercise in self-revelation. I get that. I appreciate that. But, I can't change how I experienced the book. In some ways, it felt very much like the Chip Gaines book - written in a disorganized, meandering way; incredibly self-absorbed to the point of narcissism; of little, if any, benefit to the ordinary individual who can't rush off to the ashram in India to get away from life for several months with the blessing of their employer; filled with faux insights and Spirituality 101 quotes and lessons; and, quite simply, one of the most pointless books I've read in quite some time. Is this because I'm a male? I contemplated this, however, I believe my place as an adult male with a disability also gives me a unique perspective and I fully expected to embrace and appreciate this book. I simply didn't. The writing was awkward, simultaneously filled with so many "I" statements and yet also filled to the brim with terminology that lets you know the author has, indeed, actually studied various spiritual paths. While I accept those who have felt like they learned from the book, I have a hard time understanding how - the almost completely first-person dialogue is nearly completely self-reflection and seldom broadened enough to create a universal connection. The first 2-3 chapters are an exercise in ego as we essentially gain knowledge of the author's privileged upbringing, faux rebellion against that upbringing, and subsequent landing in a position that might be gritty but still radiates privilege. There was one very telling section in the book, probably not more than a paragraph, where she describes her reasons for doing humanitarian work - it was rather stunning that it was nearly all about her rather than actually making a difference in the world. While there are some valuable insights here and I accept that some will connect with Scripture's journey, I simply can't go above a 2-star rating and acknowledge this to be one of my most disappointing books of 2019 so far.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    I felt like something was missing From the synopsis, I thought this memoir would be witty and interesting. Not so much. I felt like the synopsis was better than the book. I found this memoir very hard to get into and even harder to follow. Their were several parts that were choppy and all over the place. I couldn’t take it anymore and had to stop reading it before I even made it to the end.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Miller

    An Inspiring Memoir I really enjoyed what Natasha had to share in this book. It shared a lot of practical advice and wisdom that can benefit anyone looking to improve themselves and find deeper meaning in their lives. This book was a bit like Eat, Pray, Love, and was a little disorganized at times. On the whole, however, it's a nice read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Homira

    Meh. Kind of sad and self-indulgent. I thought I could relate to it a lot as I'm single (and don't want to be) and work in the same field (but not in communications!! I did actual project work, but in war and disaster zones), but I couldn't connect to her character and did not find anything compelling about her quest. Disappointed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan Parker

    Living as a Baobab tree in life I liked the book. She writes quite well, and her quotes from various authors, writers, or people from the spiritual realm were very lovely and insightful. They added more depth to the book. With the death of her Father, she started to feel unmoored, and wanted to travel and look inside spiritually to find herself. It was like traveling with a friend, and seeing different sites in the world, with participation and receiving understanding of the sights, customs, and Living as a Baobab tree in life I liked the book. She writes quite well, and her quotes from various authors, writers, or people from the spiritual realm were very lovely and insightful. They added more depth to the book. With the death of her Father, she started to feel unmoored, and wanted to travel and look inside spiritually to find herself. It was like traveling with a friend, and seeing different sites in the world, with participation and receiving understanding of the sights, customs, and spiritual ramifications for trying various spiritual practices. She was trying to glean whatever she needed to learn from various spiritual journeys. It seems this is a book that people either love, or they find it mediocre. My guess is that some people want a story when they are reading a book, with deep interactions with other people in the story; a book with a lot of human interactions and adventure, or some drama with a climax and an ending. If that is what you want, then this book is not for you. This is more like a self exploration spiritual journey, with exposure of her thoughts and interactions in different countries, and some background of the different spiritual interactions. If you enjoy learning about different religions, spiritual thoughts, seeing different countries, and living inside someone else’s head, heart and thoughts for awhile, and enjoying incredible quotes and thoughts from others and from Natasha Scripture, then you will probably like this book. I am glad I read it. It depends what speaks to you in this life. The choice is yours.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shavawn Berry

    Spiritual Sabbatical I am fascinated by many of the same teachings, scriptures, and ideas that float to surface of the narrative of this spiritual memoir. It was a captivating journey, full of twists and turns. I long to go on safari like she did, before it is too late to experience that wildness. This book seems to have dropped in my lap at just the right time. I will savor its lessons for quite awhile.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Risa

    My guilty pleasure is reading memoirs about women searching for themselves and their inner truth through travelling and spiritual awakening. As a 23-year old woman living in Hawai'i, I still honestly feel like a child. I'm at a point in my life where it feels like I'm stuck, as if I'm in limbo. I'm stuck in the crossroads of depending on my family because frankly I need them to do what I need to do, and working hard trying to figure out what I want to do. But sometimes, all I want to do is run a My guilty pleasure is reading memoirs about women searching for themselves and their inner truth through travelling and spiritual awakening. As a 23-year old woman living in Hawai'i, I still honestly feel like a child. I'm at a point in my life where it feels like I'm stuck, as if I'm in limbo. I'm stuck in the crossroads of depending on my family because frankly I need them to do what I need to do, and working hard trying to figure out what I want to do. But sometimes, all I want to do is run away with my entire savings, and search for a deeper meaning to being me. Natasha Scripture writes beautifully, I mean, is that even her real name? It's got to be fate. Her stories about her grief, her friendships (which she has a lot of,) her career, her parents, her love life, her travels, her faith, are all great topics and she is a great storyteller. For being a memoir that I genuinely enjoyed reading, and for being easy to follow, and the fact that I can relate to her even though we come from completely worlds and families, make this a 5-star piece for me. My only frustration is that she called this book her 'Man Fast.' What ultimately sets her on this journey of travelling is the death of her father. So to call this her 'Man Fast' is a little...inappropriate, for one. But it's not my grief and it's not my father. Another reason I don't like the title is that what she gains from her travels and her little break from city life and being in her office everyday is just so much bigger than her just fasting from dating and looking for a life partner. So for me, the title kind of missed the point. I'm just a sucker for memoirs about women travelling and becoming more connected to their inner selves, and I'm super glad I read this book. So 5/5.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Becky Skipper hickman

    I’m going to finish this book, because it’s not horrible enough for me to quit, but, man, I wish I had the connections to get someone to pay me to write a book about my self-absorbed navel-gazing. When I read the description before reading the book, I guess it sounded interesting. Reading the description after reading half the book, I don’t know what I was thinking.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    DNF. Sorry, just too much self-discovery going on here. Most of us just don't have the luxury of packing up to move halfway around the world to figure life out. For a while her adventures, or attempts, were interesting. And then they weren't. But they just kept going. And going. And going.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Lowry

    I pushed myself to finished this book but, despite the well reviews, I just couldn’t gain a connection to her story and self-discovery.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    I don't know if I would have finished this book if I weren't reading it on a plane. Being critical of this style of memoir feels ungenerous, but it was meandering, to say the least.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ramona Mead

    As a writer of memoir myself, this feels like a first draft. It's all telling and no showing. I didn't feel any emotional connection to the author, and she comes across as shallow and privileged. This book had so much potential though. There are a lot of interesting aspects that would have created a richer story if explored. For example, the whole premise of the book is that her father's death instigated her spiritual journey, but there is little time spent on telling us about her relationship w As a writer of memoir myself, this feels like a first draft. It's all telling and no showing. I didn't feel any emotional connection to the author, and she comes across as shallow and privileged. This book had so much potential though. There are a lot of interesting aspects that would have created a richer story if explored. For example, the whole premise of the book is that her father's death instigated her spiritual journey, but there is little time spent on telling us about her relationship with her father. She says it's the worst thing that ever happened to her and then moves ahead three years. Overall it's a totally "meh" memoir, and I wouldn't recommend it. There are many others in the genre that are much much better.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ragini

    I enjoyed this book to some extent, as it reminded me about my life in India. It had a lot of good quotes, and advice on life, and meaning of life which I would save and go back to. This is kind of Eat, Pray, Love. It was narrated well and I enjoyed listening to the book. I found it a little out of order.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Maybe if I had done my own cleansing and meditating, rather than just reading about it, I may have tolerated this book with less rage brewing in me. Each sentence is extremely drawn out and far too descriptive. While the author’s journey and insightfulness was interesting, it all came from a place of privilege she seems ignorant of. She spends so much time explaining the reasons she believes she is single (being too picky, being on different “trajectories” than the men she’s been involved with, Maybe if I had done my own cleansing and meditating, rather than just reading about it, I may have tolerated this book with less rage brewing in me. Each sentence is extremely drawn out and far too descriptive. While the author’s journey and insightfulness was interesting, it all came from a place of privilege she seems ignorant of. She spends so much time explaining the reasons she believes she is single (being too picky, being on different “trajectories” than the men she’s been involved with, etc). I think it is more likely that some of her personality traits and self-centeredness simply do not lend her to being a good girlfriend. Throughout the book she insists she doesn’t care what people think of her single status. Yet, it wasn’t until she went on her “writers retreat”; visiting ashrams, going on safaris, taking sitar lessons, and spending time with her widowed mother, that she actual learned to accept being unmarried and child-less. Someone needs to clue Miss Scripture in to the fact that the more you insist you do not care what people think, the more we aren’t buying it. In the end, I wasn’t empowered or enlightened. I was only feeling sad for the author and her struggle to convince herself that she’s worthy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ann Cooper

    I.I.I.I.I. I lost patience. No doubt the author had a succession of jobs that contributed greatly to mankind, but her self-focused and selfish personal explorations--lavish by most standards--were over the top ego and narcissism. Very first world problems. And the angst about men, dating, child with or without baby daddy (as if a child was a commodity or asset for the mother) seemed tedious and juvenile to me, living in a very different, and, I hope, less self-absorbed world.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emi Bevacqua

    I really liked the first half of this book, about a grown woman who loves her parents but isn't sure what she wants to do with her life after having finally achieved what she set out to do: be an aid worker for the UN, and alleviate suffering or barring that at least alert the world to it. I like when she seems to fully own her faults, admitting that her her own selfishness, pride, and Seinfeld-esque pickiness have resulted in her singleness. I relate to her experiences as a multi-cultural CNN t I really liked the first half of this book, about a grown woman who loves her parents but isn't sure what she wants to do with her life after having finally achieved what she set out to do: be an aid worker for the UN, and alleviate suffering or barring that at least alert the world to it. I like when she seems to fully own her faults, admitting that her her own selfishness, pride, and Seinfeld-esque pickiness have resulted in her singleness. I relate to her experiences as a multi-cultural CNN teleprompter operator, appreciate the many literary greats she selects quotes from (Victor Frankl, Dante, Eckhart Tolle, Simone de Beauvoir, Socrates, et al), and agree wholeheartedly that"the pressure of marriage that continues to dominate certain communities and affect women's choices and sense of self-worth" is a crock. However, I got bogged down in the second half of the book with her obsession with J, and as the book seemed to switch from memoir to self help. I find the title a bit misleading because her Man Fast is neither fully adhered to nor the main focus here; and I think Natasha Scripture (much like JD Vance) are too young to write memoirs effectively. As she mentions new-age bullshit and self-help people being annoying as hell, I started to question her self-awareness a little.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Whistlers Mom

    “It is foolish to think that we will enter heaven without entering into ourselves.” Teresa of Avila It’s a common belief that a privileged childhood produces selfish, entitled adults who believe they deserve more than the rest of us. But a happy childhood in an affluent family with loving parents and the endless choices that America offers middle-class children can also produce a young woman like this author who feels deeply grateful for what has been given her and has a sense of responsibility t “It is foolish to think that we will enter heaven without entering into ourselves.” Teresa of Avila It’s a common belief that a privileged childhood produces selfish, entitled adults who believe they deserve more than the rest of us. But a happy childhood in an affluent family with loving parents and the endless choices that America offers middle-class children can also produce a young woman like this author who feels deeply grateful for what has been given her and has a sense of responsibility toward others who aren’t so lucky. This woman’s story is a fairly typical one, given her background. She was educated at several universities and moved into careers that satisfied both her financial and her emotional needs. Working for the U.N. on the front lines of human tragedies (both man-made and natural disasters) was a roller-coaster of horrifying sights, combined with the satisfaction of feeling that some relief was being offered. But like many well-educated young people today, her exciting career dominated her life and left no room for romantic attachments. “Family” meant her loving parents and their welcoming home. Why go to the trouble to create another family? The young men she was attracted to were as wrapped up in their careers as she was in hers. As one love affair after another ended, she blamed it on the men’s “commitment-phobia”, never asking herself if she might be as afraid of commitment as her boyfriends. It was her gentle father's early death that brought her up short and forced her to reconsider her life, as the death of a parent frequently does. Was it time to “grow up” and have a child, with or without a husband? She wanted a child, but was being a mother right for her? She decided to make a break with her New York life and her frantic search for a suitable husband. Instead of trying to find a husband, she decided to find out more about herself. She embarked on a spiritual journey that took her all over the world and led her to examine many different religions and philosophies. To avoid any confusion, I should say that the author is NOT a “trust fund baby.” If she doesn’t work, she doesn’t eat. She does have the advantage of having traveled widely with her jobs and having relatives in her mother’s home country of India. But she had to make arrangements to do her job on-line. She could live with a reduced income, but not with none at all. She traveled to Ashrams in India and organic farms in Sicily and connected with anyone she could learn from. In a sense, she was going back to her “roots” on both side of her family. Her father was from a rural American background, while her mother immigrated from India. I was fascinated by her stories of her parents, their happy marriage, and the effect it had on her life. I was especially interested in the women in her maternal family and the contrast between her mother and her mother’s sister. Her mother married an American and produced two children, although her high-paying career was the family’s main support. Her aunt remained in India and was also a career woman, but one who remained single and childless. Living in a Western country, her mother had more choices, but age-old traditions and gender-expectations affect all women in all cultures. It’s merely a matter of degree. I was surprised that I enjoyed this book so much. For one thing, it’s very well-written. The author has spent decades writing for non-profit organizations and that experience developed her writing skills. For another thing, this book’s emphasis on “alternative” beliefs isn’t as radical as it would have been even twenty years ago. Many ideas that once seemed “far out” have now become mainstream in American culture. Mostly it’s just that the author is such a likable woman. Her intelligence, common sense, and willingness to laugh at herself make for a good, readable memoir. She's open about the limitations of the charitable organizations she’s worked with, but never apologetic about caring for others. Her generosity and compassion are welcome today, when so many people believe that we don’t need to help those in need, but get rid of them. As a NGO worker, she wasn’t able to do as much as she wanted, but she touched people and gave them reassurance that others care about them. I loved her stories of her childhood in Virginia and her stories of her travels in India, the Mediterranean, and north Africa. I was fascinated by her African safari, where she learned so much about the animals and even more about herself. No, you can NOT pet the hippos. Male elephants are sperm donors only. Female elephants sicken and die if they are not with their loved ones. Leopards are loners. Which one are you? Her late "gap year" highlighted her strengths and weaknesses. She learned that natural foods and water are better than Pringles and bourbon shots. That both sleep and solitude are necessary for physical and mental health. And she discovered that you can’t love others until you’ve learned to love yourself. And she finally got married! To herself, in Tanzania, with an impressive ring of native tanzanite. I read parts of this book very carefully and skimmed others, but I was never tempted to stop reading. When a writer interests you enough that you have to keep reading to find out what happens next, that’s a successful memoir.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susanna Walsh

    A less self aware Eat Pray Love from a less talented author. There was an air of superiority that permeated the whole story, a lack of understanding that anyone might want to live their life a different way. There didn't seem to be room for any other value system than the author's on the road to enlightenment. It was at best slightly off-putting and at worst frankly offensive.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elsie Ameen

    A real disappointment Despite the reviews, there is no humor in this book. I felt no empathy with or sympathy for the author. How hard is a “man fast” when you are in love with another woman? Reading this book felt like a waste of my time.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anastassia

    This book has a lot of unflattering reviews on here, but I loved it! I listened to it as the audiobook read by the author, and I thought it was a really great personal account of the thoughts and feelings during her journey. I think a lot of people have been saying it’s very self-indulgent and self-centred, but that’s the point of self exploration. Many people DON’T focus on themselves or try to separate societal and cultural expectations from their own personal being. The author is doing just t This book has a lot of unflattering reviews on here, but I loved it! I listened to it as the audiobook read by the author, and I thought it was a really great personal account of the thoughts and feelings during her journey. I think a lot of people have been saying it’s very self-indulgent and self-centred, but that’s the point of self exploration. Many people DON’T focus on themselves or try to separate societal and cultural expectations from their own personal being. The author is doing just that in trying to understand who she is and what she wants in life. Some people didn’t find the book very profound. It’s not really, apart from a few insightful quotations. But that’s the beauty of it -it is a candid journey of one of the numerous diverse individuals living in America, each with their own unique but ordinary story. Think of your own journey - it’s not a sagely tale of huge inspiration and amazing enlightenment. It’s probably filled with its own pain, which is much different than the pain of many others, and many people have it better or worse than you. Nonetheless, your pain is yours, and how it compares to those of others does not in any way devalue the experience, or make it any less true to you. Everyone is entitled to self-exploration, self-compassion, and self-indulgence with our emotions. Come on guys, that’s sort of one of the main things the writer has come to understand through it all -take time for yourself; you can’t save the whole world; yes people are suffering more than you but it doesn’t help anyone if you kill yourself over it; you don’t have to be a super wise guru to try to find some clarity in life. Some people said it wasn’t well edited and that there was unnecessary detail. I don’t agree with this. It’s the detail to our emotions and how we perceive things that truly encapsulates the experience of meditation and reflection. The musings and tangents written were just the thoughts going on in her head. If she had edited all the “extra” out, she would be writing for the purposes of pleasing readers, or distilling her entire self-discovery process into advice, which would, once again, be for the readers. The point of the exercise is that all of these thoughts and observations count. You can’t rush it. Whatever comes, come. I personally thought it was beautiful to see a person who did not skip the meaningful experiences and thoughts that brought her to insights. It’s much more meaningful to meander and discover something rather than just be told what it is. Most books do not give much attention to this meandering process, but this book models it well. If you’re here considering this book, I would recommend that you give it a try. You can always put it down if you don’t like it. It’s not earth-shattering, it’s not a breathtaking story of overcoming crazy adversity, it’s not a cliche feel-good novel for those seeking inner enlightenment. It’s the typical spiritual journey of a regular person, without any glorification or embellishment and occasional relevant nuggets of insight. Listening to this book was like having kitchen chats with a friend who knows you won’t judge her, rather than advice written for an audience of unknown book readers who may or may not like what you have to say, and I really appreciate that. Most books don’t feel this genuine and cozy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Henry G. Nadeau

    Interesting I'm (currently) a 56 year old white Male who literally stumbled upon this book. First reaction was to beg off, then decided to stay and try it. I've a niece the writer's age and thought it may provide some unspecific insight into that age group. Plus, I enjoy learning more about what I am not. In this it did not disappoint. I've had the opportunity to travel the world and always enjoy comparing shared locations and experiences with other's so I enjoyed the travel bits. I also purposel Interesting I'm (currently) a 56 year old white Male who literally stumbled upon this book. First reaction was to beg off, then decided to stay and try it. I've a niece the writer's age and thought it may provide some unspecific insight into that age group. Plus, I enjoy learning more about what I am not. In this it did not disappoint. I've had the opportunity to travel the world and always enjoy comparing shared locations and experiences with other's so I enjoyed the travel bits. I also purposely pursue a spiritual life that is open to a variety of religions and encounters, similar to the authors. Perhaps the greatest gift to me is the opportunity to see life through a totally new set of glasses. A series of snapshot pictures into the mind, body and soul of a young woman who is obviously different from me in so many respects, yet also the same. Her overall writing style had me feeling that we were on the same bench having a free and open conversation. No particular goals other than to simply share thoughts and experiences and to enjoy the surprises of discovery. The last bit of the story seemed a bit hurried, smooshed together. Yet this tumble together also appears to be a true reflection of the author's personality so is not uncomfortable and lends a bit more authenticity. I'm grateful for the many details, the chance to have met an interesting soul and admire Natasha's courage to openly share her life with so many of us. I would encourage her to continue examining her life and to return to us readers for updates (new books) as her life moves forward

  24. 5 out of 5

    David

    not for me. I'm not sure what i was thinking -- one of the blurbs does refer to it as a "spiritual travel memoir", which should have served as a red flag. Expressed as an equation: spirituality is important; other people's spiritual reflections are interesting maybe 40% of the time. Travel can be fun and enlightening; only about 10% of writers are able to make their travel experiences vivid and relevant to others who weren't on the trip Memoir is one of my favorite genres, but still not a sure th not for me. I'm not sure what i was thinking -- one of the blurbs does refer to it as a "spiritual travel memoir", which should have served as a red flag. Expressed as an equation: spirituality is important; other people's spiritual reflections are interesting maybe 40% of the time. Travel can be fun and enlightening; only about 10% of writers are able to make their travel experiences vivid and relevant to others who weren't on the trip Memoir is one of my favorite genres, but still not a sure thing for relatability, esp. given she's [guessing from jacket photo] half my age -- let's say probability of .6 for holding my attention. .4 X .1 X .6 = .024, so a priori this book had a 2.4% chance of being gripping for me. unfortunately, the other side (the 97.6%) won. Meaning, once again, that the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise nor yet riches to people of understanding......but that's the way to bet. if you are an international-traveling young woman trying to find yourself and wondering if difficult relationships with men are part of the problem, your reading experience may well differ from mine

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachael King

    I have mixed feelings on this one.. The good: the author writes beautifully. I can tell she has a very interesting story, but I don't feel like it's full potential is reached here. The story told here is mostly engaging. The bad: she is ridiculously repetitive in the first chapter, she improves as the book goes on, but could have cut about 30-40 pages. Reminded me of trying to meet page minimums in college. Overall this book left me wanting to know more of the authors story, and less of her path t I have mixed feelings on this one.. The good: the author writes beautifully. I can tell she has a very interesting story, but I don't feel like it's full potential is reached here. The story told here is mostly engaging. The bad: she is ridiculously repetitive in the first chapter, she improves as the book goes on, but could have cut about 30-40 pages. Reminded me of trying to meet page minimums in college. Overall this book left me wanting to know more of the authors story, and less of her path to enlightenment. She shared very interesting details here and there of experiences with humanitarian work. I kept wishing she would vehicle back and close the loop on those, but alas she never did. It was alright, but usually when I read a memoir i expect to know more about the author than was shared here. I'm not even sure who i would recommend this book to. If you're already lost, you won't find your way by reading this book, that's for sure. That would be the blind leading the blind.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessi Spain

    Somewhat long winded, rambling, and repetitive. One gets the feeling that there's too much of an effort made to be profound, or perhaps it's just the excessive effort to convey what was profound to the author. However, maybe that's the point; despite being a humanitarian worker, it seems the author was ridiculously out of touch with nature and completely ignorant of working with the land or being around wild animals, which contributed to this life crisis and late blooming of realizations and epi Somewhat long winded, rambling, and repetitive. One gets the feeling that there's too much of an effort made to be profound, or perhaps it's just the excessive effort to convey what was profound to the author. However, maybe that's the point; despite being a humanitarian worker, it seems the author was ridiculously out of touch with nature and completely ignorant of working with the land or being around wild animals, which contributed to this life crisis and late blooming of realizations and epiphanies. That being said, there was quite a collection of cross cultural references to words of wisdom and holistic practices, which I appreciated, some of which were foreign to me. It was comforting to read of someone "successful", someone with far more privilege and resources than I will likely ever have, someone far more experienced and travelled than I, whom got just as lost as I sometimes feel. I certainly related with parts of the story deeply. Other times I found myself regularly rolling my eyes.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Starting this book I thought it would be another book about women needing a man to define herself. And it is that, better said, it's a woman trying the break the mold. I believe Natasha has broken it for herself and the journey she needed in order to do just that. Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the book is that she did not come out at the end with a man but found that she is enough. I see this being an Eat, Pray, Love type phenomenon, though I hope others recognize they can have the same jo Starting this book I thought it would be another book about women needing a man to define herself. And it is that, better said, it's a woman trying the break the mold. I believe Natasha has broken it for herself and the journey she needed in order to do just that. Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the book is that she did not come out at the end with a man but found that she is enough. I see this being an Eat, Pray, Love type phenomenon, though I hope others recognize they can have the same journey without having to travel the world. Define your own journey, that's the message I took, besides the obvious that we are all enough and don't have to be in a relationship to be defined. The reason for the rating is not that I didn't like the book, I did very much. The author is a good writer. I felt at times the spiritual discussion sometimes went on too long. This discussion would also be dropped in the middle of something happening and I was not quite sure if it was concluded or not.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Despite the almost narcissistic journey of self discovery fueled by privilege, wealth , and opportunity, I liked the book and the author. She struggled with honesty and trying to understand herself and why she didn’t fit the mold of other young attractive women her age. I enjoyed the synopsis of different philosophies and her descriptive travels. What did get to me was after all that blathering about self acceptance and marrying herself and being extremely active on social media while putting Despite the almost narcissistic journey of self discovery fueled by privilege, wealth , and opportunity, I liked the book and the author. She struggled with honesty and trying to understand herself and why she didn’t fit the mold of other young attractive women her age. I enjoyed the synopsis of different philosophies and her descriptive travels. What did get to me was after all that blathering about self acceptance and marrying herself and being extremely active on social media while putting down the busy New Yorkers who in her view aren’t as self actualized as she is, is that ultimately post publication, she gets her man and either has a baby or about to. Lol. She became the woman she disparaged.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gizem Cavuslar

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have mixed feelings about this book. It started off very good when she was explaining her struggles with life and work. I found it very relatable. Her time in India was interesting. I liked how she was watching her inner response to the external triggers unraveling around her. Starting from the Italy chapter, she feels like she's getting where she needs to go. She fills the book with wise, spiritual quotes that somehow cannot go beyond the surface. At the end, she declares herself to "have beco I have mixed feelings about this book. It started off very good when she was explaining her struggles with life and work. I found it very relatable. Her time in India was interesting. I liked how she was watching her inner response to the external triggers unraveling around her. Starting from the Italy chapter, she feels like she's getting where she needs to go. She fills the book with wise, spiritual quotes that somehow cannot go beyond the surface. At the end, she declares herself to "have become it" and also has to go back to work. This doesn't ring true to me (her spiritual journey, the focus of the book, happens to finish (not having to end) right when she needed to go back to work). The last chapters and her journey for that matter seem to be rushed and forced.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Rossi

    This book took me a while to get through, because I spent a lot of time fully digesting her words. As someone on her own spiritual path, which includes yoga, meditation and anything “woo woo”, I found this book very interesting. Natasha’s path is unconventional -most of us are not as well-traveled nor have the flexibility nor tenacity to set off on a solo nine month journey, but I appreciated living vicariously through her. She comes to terms with her own identity as a women and her grief from l This book took me a while to get through, because I spent a lot of time fully digesting her words. As someone on her own spiritual path, which includes yoga, meditation and anything “woo woo”, I found this book very interesting. Natasha’s path is unconventional -most of us are not as well-traveled nor have the flexibility nor tenacity to set off on a solo nine month journey, but I appreciated living vicariously through her. She comes to terms with her own identity as a women and her grief from losing her father. Chapter are longgggg, so it seems like you never make progress while reading. But overall, this book has been a meaningful read for me.

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