Susan Johnson's Reviews > A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson
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Mar 29, 2012

really liked it
Read from March 29 to April 04, 2012

When I first received this book I did not know where Kashgar was. I had to go to the Internet to discover it was on an old China silk trade route. I'm still a little unclear on the exact location as it's bordered by states with names I neither know or can say. It really made it clear to be just how big the adventure was that Eva accompanied by her sister, Lizzie, and a fiery missionary, Millicent, set out on. It's breathtaking that these three women set out on this fantastic leap of faith to explore new places in 1923. Eva takes her bicycle and a book contract to write about her adventures and sets off on this VERY long and hard trip. She's not out to save anyone but just knows she wants something else in her life.
Her story fluctuates with that of Frieda, a young woman in present day in London. She is an Arabic youth specialist who spends much of her time in the Mideast. Involved with a married man and dissatisfied with her job, life changes for her suddenly. She finds a young, Arabic man sleeping on her doorstep and gives him a blanket and a pillow. She also receives an unexpected inheritance from an Irene Guy, someone she doesn't know.
The story is how these two very different and yet similar women's discoveries on life unfold. What do they have in common? The answer is at the end and not what I expected. A little overwritten at times and a little far fetched at others, it is still quite interesting and worth a read.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Colleen Clark Kashgar is in Sinkiang, China in the very far west, almost in Kyrgyzstan. The city of Osh, which is mentioned is in Kyrgyzstan. Try Google maps or google earth.


Susan Johnson I did look it up, Colleen. Now you've got me stumped with Kyrgystan. Back to the maps. Thanks.


Colleen Clark Kyrgyzstan is to the west of Kashgar and a little south. The huge former SSR is Kazakhstan and tucked under it is Kyrgyzstan. The capitals of Almaty (Kazakhstan) is just about 4 hours north of Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan).

My ex-husband has been teaching out there Kyrgyzstan -Kazakhstan-Kygyzstan since 1994, so I'm pretty familiar with the geography and visited once in 1995. Uzbekistan - Samarkand, Bukhara - is to the west, and Afghanistan is straight south of there. Uzbekistan and Afghanistan border in part on the Amu Darya river, anciently known as the Oxus.

Have fun. I love maps, myself.


Susan Johnson Wow, I am impressed. That geography is just a blur there for me. I appreciate the information.


Colleen Clark I always have liked maps and my ex-husband does me better and knows even more. We were in the Peace Corps in Turkey and much of Central Asia is Turkic - the Turks originally came from even further north and east - try to find the Yenisei river. So it was a competition to keep up and I always like to know where places are.

Central Asia is certainly beyond the ken and interest of most Americans until you read a book with 'Kashgar' in the title....I hadn't heard of Urumqi until I met some Turkic speakers from there and then we learned that the Chinese husband of my ex-husband's niece was born there! I think his father was doing military service.


Susan Johnson Wow! Did you like Turkey? I've always wanted to go there. And,you are right, Central Asia is beyond my ken. Do you know if thie is where Genghis Khan was? I read a series on him and was just fascinated.


Colleen Clark Genghis Khan started out in Mongolia. You can always start with Wikipedia for basic information. I just checked the entry and if you click on Mongolia you see where that is. His sons spread all over Asia and got as far as Eastern Europe!
I loved Turkey and have been there several times. (Istanbul is wonderful, but there's a lot more to Turkey than just that city.) I was in Adiyaman, in the southeast. I just checked and it has its own Wikipedia entry. And if you click on 'Ataturk Dam' then you learn that most of the southern border of the province is the Euphrates river.


Susan Johnson Thanks. I'll do that.


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