Thursday, 17 November 2016

I Am The Ocean by Samita Sarkar


I Am The Ocean by Samita Sarkar
Published by Blossoms Books in March 2016.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"Samita Sarkar thought she was destined to spend her entire life running. Never giving herself a moment’s rest, she studied hard and graduated from university with top grades, and then promptly began a tireless job search. But although she thought that she had done everything by the book, life still hadn’t given her any answers. She knew that God had a plan, but what was it? Stricken with anxiety while facing midsummer heat and sizable life decisions, the thrifty twenty-something Canadian—who had never before travelled for travel’s sake—purchased a discount bus ticket for what she thought would be a few weeks of reprieve in The United States. Embarking on her journey with nothing but a small suitcase, a broken handbag, a killer manicure and a copy of "The Bhagavad Gita," Samita would spend her days wandering streets and beaches, and her nights in jostling buses or on cramped couches. Marvelling at the beauty around her, Samita finally discovered what the world has to offer to those who stop running, while learning lessons that would set the course of the rest of her life."

It takes a while for Sarkar to settle into her style in this travel memoir so I didn't really get into her writing until she reached Savannah, Georgia. (She previously visits New York and Washington.) Her adventurous solo journey is undertaken by bus and she stays with CouchSurfing hosts which reminded me of Clara Bensen's journey in No Baggage. It was interesting to read about Sarkar's changing attitude to herself and her future as she travelled because this is something I have also experienced myself. From her initial assumption of a school-university-employment path, her realisation that following this traditional route isn't always the 'best' way is a direct result of how travel can widen horizons. Sarkar is strongly religious and incorporates her Hare Krishna faith into her memoir, its importance seeming to become stronger through her journey. Occasionally I did feel as though her evangelising took over making the book more of an advert than a memoir, but otherwise this gives a nice glimpse of Savannah and of Miami, Florida.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Samita Sarkar / Biography and memoir / Books from Canada

2 comments:

  1. I've always believed that books are the cheapest way to travel so I'm glad you found this book...and a Canadian author to boot!

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    1. There are so many places I have 'visited' by reading a book! Love armchair travel :-)

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