cover image Home by Another Way: Notes from the Caribbean

Home by Another Way: Notes from the Caribbean

Robert Benson, . . WaterBrook, $13.99 (196pp) ISBN 978-1-4000-7172-2

Spirituality writer and retreat leader Benson (A Good Life ) offers a series of reflections on island vacationing. He and his wife have been returning yearly to the same Caribbean idyll for a week or two of vacation in honor of their anniversary. If most readers won't be able to relate to that kind of freedom, armchair travelers will appreciate the careful recounting of rituals like watching the sun dispel the grayness of dawn, feeding the sugar birds and getting fried chicken at a lime bar in town. Benson captures a world in which time slows down and material things become of less importance. People are generally kind and hospitable, and the daily ritual of meals can create holy moments shared with close family or new friends. Spiritual insights are light, but offer clues and questions about how life can be best lived. For example, Benson writes poignantly about how island life has helped him abandon the American practice of "hurrying up just to wait," and about what he may have missed during the years he was rushing through life. However, for all its sweetness, the overall purpose and audience for the book are unclear. (Apr. 18)