Buddha, Christ, and the Eagle: Finding Happiness
by Dr. Frances Rinaldi

"In the depth of shadows nearby, an old-world temple towered. To her surprise she saw a young monk standing by the temple's door."

Janet Locke's world is crumbling. After a stroke debilitates her husband, David, for several months, the resulting bills and a decline in their business threaten to cost them not only their own home but, more importantly in Janet's mind, that of her mother's. Normally, leaving for an international getaway under such circumstances would be the epitome of foolishness, but Janet's frequent flyer miles and credit from a previously cancelled trip make a vacation from their troubles doable. So, hoping that the trip will prove therapeutic, Janet and David head for Thailand where, after spending some time seeing the sights together, Janet continues on alone to join a cycling tour in Bhutan. The journey will not only affect her physically but also spiritually.

Based on her own experiences while bicycling in Bhutan, the author does a superb job of portraying the beauty of the small, Himalayan country. Her love for the Bhutanese people and her appreciation of their culture are evident in her writing; and while much of the story deals with what her protagonist experiences on a metaphysical level, the descriptions of the temples and landscape, along with the accompanying photographs and historical background, work together to form an enjoyable travelogue. Another interesting touch is found in the chapter headings which feature quotes from the Bible, Buddhist writings, and Native American sources. Rinaldi, an award-winning author, writes well and understands how to keep her story rolling along at just the right pace. Armchair travelers, especially those interested in Eastern cultures and religion, should find her book entertaining and informative.

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