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The First Noble Truth

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  11 reviews
"Just as the wind, blowing back and forth
Controls the movement of a piece of cotton,
So shall I be controlled by joy,
And in this way accomplish everything."
-Shantideva

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 qui
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ebook, 400 pages
Published July 27th 2014 (first published July 25th 2014)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  17 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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Awesome Indies Reviewers
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-fiction
An illuminating tale beautifully told

The First Noble Truth is a tale told in the voices of two women. The author has made the interesting choice of giving us one voice in first person and the other in third person. Counterintuitively, I found the third person voice the more intimate of the two.
Krista, in first person, relates the circumstances of her life with some detachment; Machiko’s story is immersive, full of rich detail. Krista’s suffering is caused by large events—by loss, by grief; Mac
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Vicki
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
What an interesting story. It started out kind of slow moving for me and just kept picking up momentum until I simply could not put it down.

I wasn’t as invested in Krista’s story as I was in Michiko’s. I think because, at first, Krista’s story is more about the people around her and their history than it is about Krista. Whereas, I found Machiko’s story to be both uncomfortable and moving and I became immediately invested in her story.

Overall, I found the story very moving and I truly enjoyed
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Sadie Forsythe
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a2r-done
4.5
This book is, first and foremost, beautiful. The use of language is absolutely breathtaking. Yes, some would say it's fully purple, overly detailed and clarity is compromised for poetic effect, and it's occasionally true. But less often than one would expect, considering. This is the sort of book you can slow down and read just for the sheer joy of feeling the rhythm of the words sliding over your tongue as it slowly builds itself into something substantial.

The plot does wander at times, taki
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Smitha
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copy, ebook
Machiko is an English teacher in a school in a small remote, yet beautiful village in Japan, where the children wear bells on their school bags, to warn away bears. She has a condition which makes her pull out her hair, pick at her skin. She finds that she can do nothing to stop herself from doing it. She struggled hard to mask the damage what her fingers had done to her appearance, she struggled to look normal. No doctor she has been to, has been able to help her with her condition.

When a myst
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Pamela King
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I want to say firstly that the book description on the review websites needs to be re-written. I received a copy of the book in return for an honest review and if it hadn’t been offered I would not have purchased a copy based on the description.

I really didn’t know what to expect and certainly didn’t appreciate I was going to be reading a story so skilfully and touchingly written.

The story is about two young women with one story told in the first person and the other in the third person. The wo
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Jeremy Hanes
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful Suffering

C Lynn Murphy's first novel is an intricately entwined narrative set between two very different protagonists. While I love the first chapter, focusing on Krista Black, and the lush details of her life, the even chapters challenged me as a reader. Without giving away any of the last half of the book, Machiko Yamamoto's story has a pristine quality that mirrors her disease. While Krista has a nice tourist-pilgrimage narrative throughout Africa, various countries of the Himalayas
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Diane
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
The First Noble Truth's introductory sentence - and those that immediately follow - is a powerful portent of things to come: "My father arrived late to my conception. His day had been difficult." It takes a while for one to realize that this story is actually being told from the viewpoints of two very different women: Japanese rural teacher Machiko, whose compulsion to self-injure reflects deeper traumas in her life, and that of Krista, whose life holds equally somber tones of danger and pain.

Th
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Mia Darien
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was about a quarter of the way through this book when I realized that I had no idea what was going on, or where the book was going; yet only a moment later, I knew that I didn’t care that I didn’t know. Some books feel kind of pointless and I’m disappointed. Some books feel without point, but that’s only because they meander through their prose.

This book was the latter, but it worked. It was addictively lyrical, and I just could not stop reading, even when I felt clueless.

Much of this book had
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Donald Grant
Aug 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Dr Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde....

Can a book be good and bad at the same time? Evidently! This novel reads as if written by two different people or if by one, a person with a split writing personality.

The story is written from two points of view. One, first person, the second third person. The parts in first person are gripping, dramatic, page turning, emotional, and paint a very good story. The second viewpoint is sluggish, boring, way too much telling, and difficult to slog through. The author seems
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Henk-Jan van der Klis
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
The First Noble Truth refers to core teachings of Buddhism, life is suffering, or in the words of a monk in this novel: life is full of discontent. Machiko Yamamoto has a obsessive-compulsive disorder. She constantly is pulling out all of her hair, picking her skin. Though medical asisstance and temporary successes to refrain from that addiction, she's major fall backs. It hinders her work as English teacher. The other protagonist in the book is Krista Black, who happened to have a mangled hand. ...more
Sage Adderley-Knox
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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UK Amazon Kindle ...: C Lynn Murphy- Travel Musings 17 12 Aug 01, 2014 07:53AM  
4 followers
C 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).

Whi
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“The air was cool and soft. The desert looked empty from our great height, enough to believe the geographers and travel writers who tell of the terrible desert life, the stillness, harshness, and death. I lay against the cold sand, tiny grains dancing fast and furious across my skin. I saw insects and scorpions, the line of a snake. Mohammed said the dunes moved millimeters a day. They inched across the desert floor toward the ocean. I smiled. The geographers were blind.” 1 likes
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