Holy Cow! (Book Review)

Yes, seriously. I finished a book in ~3 days.

Today, whilst at work with Adam, I finished Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald. It had been recommended a few different ways, by websites and people, so I decided to pick it up. Initially I was skeptical — it seemed like it was going to be a case of “Wow! Look at me, I cover religion while my husband is off doing things”. I wasn’t entirely sure what to think of it, and almost put it down within the first 50 pages. Still – I decided to wade through it, and I am glad I did. Sarah’s growth about the realities of India as well as the different religions are portrayed honestly, realistically, and respectfully — and while I have to raise my eyebrows at some of the situations, and wonder exactly how much of it is conflated together for a better piece of writing — it was a good, solid read.

The basic premise is that Sarah’s fiancĂ© Jonathan gets a job in India, and she tags along. He’s working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and she’s unemployed (a situation I’ll be able to empathize with), and so she ends up exploring and examining religion in India while he’s off covering different things for the ABC. Her religious journey isn’t a deliberate search for something, but a curiosity and occasional push from one of the domestic servants she has (a reality for anyone who is middle-class or higher) or a friend. Her portrayals are believable, though I can only raise an eyebrow at some situations, but I have no doubt I’ll truly be able to gauge things when I get to India rather than be the skeptic who hasn’t been there… yet.

I definitely strongly recommend reading this, if you’re curious about religion or Indian culture, and particularly if you plan on moving to India.

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