NATURE TRAVELER

Book Review: The Paradise Guest House

I love reading books that transport me to another land, somewhere far away from my New York City fast paced life. I picked this book, The Paradise Guest House by Ellen Sussman, because I was drawn to the cover. The inviting doors, the adorable statue of Lord Ganesha and the palm leaves were all I needed to read the back cover. I was immediately hooked when I read that the book is about an adventure guide who loves to travel.

The Paradise Guest House tells the story of Jamie Hyde from Berkeley on a tour in Bali and the sudden turn her life takes when the nightclub bombs (of 2002) go off. I was looking for an escapist read, and parts of the book do transport the reader to the lush landscape and vivid cultural ceremonies, but what I got was an engaging tale of hope, healing, and the power of love in the face of adversity. When I finished reading, I had a huge smile on my face. I highly recommend it.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

“It starts as a trip to paradise. Sent on assignment to Bali, Jamie, an American adventure guide, imagines spending weeks exploring the island’s lush jungles and pristine white sand beaches. Yet three days after her arrival, she is caught in Bali’s infamous nightclub bombings, which irreparably change her life and leave her with many unanswered questions.One year later, haunted by memories, Jamie returns to Bali seeking a sense of closure. Most of all, she hopes to find Gabe, the man who saved her from the attacks. She hasn’t been able to forget his kindness—or the spark between them as he helped her heal. Checking into a cozy guest house for her stay, Jamie meets the kindly owner, who is coping with a painful past of his own, and a young boy who improbably becomes crucial to her search. Jamie has never shied away from a challenge, but a second chance with Gabe presents her with the biggest dilemma of all: whether she’s ready to open her heart.”

Visit www.ellensussman.com for more info on the book.

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