My Copy: 9781573226608 (image from amazon.com)
A lovely sequel to The Holy Man, whereby Joe must help his replacement, Anna, learn what she must to become the new “Holy Man” because he is getting older. But Joe’s original teacher is sick and Joe must make the journey to see him, as they’ve not met or spoken in decades. This journey requires Anna to tag along, just the two of them, and Anna finds so many lessons she must learn and unlearn for herself.
This story’s a little more central, more personal, about the relationship between Joe and the world, and Joe and Anna, and Anna and her relationship with the hermitage and her family. I love how there’s some bits of quiet and you can get absorbed into the world of the mountain, the ponies on the hill, even the town below–not very specific description, but enough for you to put a decent picture in your mind.
It’s a beautiful, simple place the way it came out in my head.
Along the way down the mountain, they meet the cab driver obsessed with collecting pottery, handicapped women, a thief, a mob, get into a car accident, and many other events that give wisdom to our characters. I enjoyed this teacher-apprenticeship, and felt for Anna and Joe in several different ways.
The only thing I wish I could’ve read more about is how Anna and the other monks get along and what they thought about her being there. But the story focused on Joe and Anna for a good reason, which I’ll leave you to discover.
I thought The Holy Man’s Journey flowed well from one subject to the next. I love the character of Joe, simple yet complex. Actually, all the characters have that in them, but the wit and wisdom are still there for the taking–worth a read.