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Book Review: A Curious Year in the Great Vivarium Experiment

Those of us who have experienced the pain and heartbreak of losing a parent knows it feels like our world is never going to be the same. We suddenly realize that something intangible is forever lost. But there are ways of coping and coming out on the other side of this despair and sadness. This is the journey that Tim Shields takes the reader on in this wonderful story of emancipation. It's a story that is as deep as it tragic, beautiful, and inspiring.

 

The story is about Thomas Furey, who finds himself at a crossroads in this life. He is in his mid-thirties and without a job to fall back on. He's feeling desperately isolated and alone as he mourns the death of his mother. With many other things that are simultaneously going wrong in his life, Thomas feels himself sinking into a deep well of misery and sadness. How can he possibly get himself out of this dark abyss that was created by the unfortunate events in his life?

 

Suddenly, Thomas thinks of something liberating and he is convinced that this will help him to overcome these obstacles. He buys himself a one-way ticket to India. After he buys it, he becomes fearful yet filled with hope and ready to be guided by his intuition. The journey takes him all over Southeast Asia for a year.

 

I loved this book. This is a story that takes the reader on a journey like no other, to become emancipated and cleansed by the end of the story and to think for him/herself about what it means to live an authentic life. The story is laced with philosophy and the deep intuition of a person who is trying to recreate his life. A lot occurs between sunrise and sunset.

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