A Journey with Elsa Cloud

Leila Hadley, Author
Leila Hadley, Author Turtle Point Press $28 (600p) ISBN 978-1-885983-16-9
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Paperback - 624 pages - 978-0-14-027537-7
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In this ravishing memoir, two journeys intertwine: one, a trip to India and Nepal, the other a parent's voyage to reconciliation with her estranged child. For some years, Hadley's adored daughter, Veronica, has lived as a Buddhist in Nepal. Brilliant and beautiful, Veronica makes choices beyond Hadley's comprehension. Hadley was brought up in great wealth, rectitude and overweening social pride, but her heritage remains alien to her daughter. Surprisingly, when Veronica is 25, she calls her mother and invites her to visit; she also offers to arrange an audience with the Dalai Llama. The two women meet in New Delhi, hire a car and travel through India toward Tibet. Hadley is humbled and exasperated by her daughter's piety and awed by her knowledgeability, and nostalgic for the child she once knew. Eager to understand, she opens herself--and the reader--to Veronica's running sermons on Buddhism. All the while, they investigate life in India and Nepal and, through Veronica, who speaks the language, talk to everyone. Here, Hadley's intense curiosity, empathy, stunning associations and sensuous prose play over inner and outer landscapes. No traveler, armchair or otherwise, should be deprived of this book's ripe pleasures. Author tour. (May)
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