A Journey To Yonder

Non-Fiction - Memoir
139 Pages
Reviewed on 10/08/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

A Journey to Yonder by Nidhi Kaur is a short but captivating memoir that follows one woman’s journey to conquering her inner freedom, an inspirational story that will show readers that they have the freedom to choose their responses to whatever happened to them in the past. Starting with childhood memories, especially one of a brother born deaf and the suffering her family went through looking for healing, the narrator takes readers on a path of spiritual awakening, unveiling the beauty of an inner world of compassion and love that can’t be sullied by suffering.

In this thrilling narrative, she demonstrates how embracing the truth can be liberating, but what is most interesting are the bursts of poetry that lay bare her soul, allowing the reader to contemplate her relationship with God, a relationship that has become her stronghold, her strength. The streams of consciousness and her anguish are vividly expressed in powerful lines of poetry scattered throughout the narrative. For instance, talking to, and about her brother, she says:

“They are blind who do not see you.
They are deaf who do not hear you.
They are impaired who call you so.
You are a gifted soul.”

Nidhi Kaur’s writing is a powerful witness to love, to life, and the strong values of humanity. In this work, readers can easily find their voices echoed in the poetic utterances of the narrator. The prose is deceptively simple, but each word is measured and it has a lot of symbolism infused into it. A Journey to Yonder is a message of hope to readers, a book that reminds readers that they are bigger than their problems, and that they are stronger than the challenges they face. I couldn’t stop reading, seduced by the beauty of the language and the perceptive gaze with which the protagonist regards life.

J. Aislynn d Merricksson

Nidhi Hans Kaur’s A Journey to Yonder is raw, visceral. It is a pouring out of the soul in purifying honesty. Written as part prose, part poetry, A Journey to Yonder tells the story of a life as seen through different lenses. We follow Kaur through different aspects of her life, from childhood to mature woman. This book feels to me as if English is not the author's first language. It flows as if different linguistics guide the thoughts behind it. I always find it fascinating, when I come across cases like this, because it offers a glimpse into how a different culture thinks if you understand how to decode it. I always wonder what it would sound like to hear and understand it in the language the writer favours. The measure and flow, culture guided.

This was an eye opening read. Kaur comes from a culture that practices arranged marriages. Callan’s family just about forbade her to speak with her birth family after marriage. She also suffered abuse at his hands. It's a culture that sees women as lesser beings, and many women suffer various degrees of molestation once they begin to mature. My heart ached to read this. There are so many beautiful descriptions throughout. Several places compare lovemaking to poetry writing. Later, there is a quote that just hit me. I flagged it, and am going to copy it out as a reminder for myself.

“But I loved my body, for this is the place my soul wished to reside and fulfill its purpose.”

I have low self-worth, and am often at odds with myself. This was an enchanting reminder of my spiritual beliefs, that we are so much more than our physical bodies, and that our soul did, for whatever reason, choose this form and our minds are not our souls. There is a theme of flowers/gardens through the sections. In many spiritual traditions, the innerscape is likened to a garden, and our thoughts the seeds that grow. The garden is our link to our soul. Choked with weeds, our access to our soulself is shuttered. Blooming with flowers, our access is wide open.

Gisela Dixon

A Journey To Yonder by Nidhi Kaur is a memoir that begins with Liz's self-introduction and her description of herself growing up in India as a Sikh girl with her parents and siblings. Her first experience with God making wishes come true is when her baby brother is born. However, although her wish for a baby brother is fulfilled, her brother is found to be deaf. This results in many tears from her parents. Liz describes her life with her siblings, including her handicapped brother whom she loves very much, her grandmother’s death through cancer, meeting her future husband, her abusive and physically violent marriage, and her rebirth as yet another girl with a wholly different perspective. Her spiritual journey begins with her rebirth and concepts such as karma, the law of rebirth, afterlife, metaphysics, God, and enlightenment are explored in depth in this book through both prose and poetry.

I found A Journey To Yonder to be an engaging and fast-paced book but also a bit confusing. To me, it felt like the story of her present and past life and how the two connect is left unexplained, and it is also unclear how and why past life memories are so clear and written in the present tense. Aside from this, the book itself is a page-turner and an inspiration to all people to try to live life to its maximum potential as much as possible. The book also tackles issues of social justice, domestic violence, people with disabilities and the challenges they face, and suicide help and prevention, all of which is very pertinent in today’s world. In general, this is a book worth reading for people to interpret however they like.