Colleen's Reviews > Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman
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Feb 08, 10

bookshelves: reviewed
Read in February, 2010

Now this is what a travel memoir should be- funny, poignant, and ultimately redemptive. Gilman's account of her travels through China are beautifully drawn. From her initial crisis of homesickness through her desperation to find something familiar in an alien environment, Gilman is painfully truthful and so her story resonates. Though today's mature reader will immediately see the warning signs in Claire's behavior, Gilman's narative voice is strong enough to carry the reader along, to make you view the story through her younger, infinitely more naive eyes. This book captures a snapshot of a China that no longer exists, and gently mocks a mindset that equates "true adventure" with sometimes life-threatening hardship. This trip had an enormous effect on Gilman, on her life and world view, and she shares those revelations with an admirable honesty and modesty. Truly a wonderful travel memoir- a must read 5 star adventure!
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Lisa You nailed it! Great review. Clearly the mature Gilman understands her folly, but writes from the p.o.v. of her younger, naive self, making for a very believable, edge-of-your-seat ride. I agree, Gilman's honesty and modesty are admirable!


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