Daniel Roy's Reviews > Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure

Holy Cow by Sarah Macdonald
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's review
May 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, travel
Read in January, 2010

I loved this book once I finished it; however, the cover, title and back cover are misleading.

I expected a humorous romp through India, but this book really explores serious themes and real-life situations, albeit with humor. I wanted a light-hearted introduction to India as I was headed there - what I got instead was a hard look at some of the good and not-so-good about India.

I found the beginning of the book hard to take, bordering on xenophobic; the tone changes as the author begins to "understand" India, and the book becomes very rewarding from this point. Overall, the book is a memoir of McDonald's visits to various regions of India in search of understanding of India's various religions.

I applaud Sarah McDonald for being honest in her writings, even self-deprecating at times. I also loved how, although a self-professed atheist, she approached each religion with great respect and a genuine desire to understand.

I've been in India a week now, at the time of writing this review, and I can say McDonald's book was a great primer to India. Highly recommended if you want a contemporary, Western perspective on India that's more about true understanding than poking fun at India's idiosyncrasies.
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