Jonas and the Mountain

A Metaphysical Love Story

Fiction - Visionary
238 Pages
Reviewed on 12/09/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Janis Harper is a writer, singer-songwriter, actor, and former adjunct English professor turned expressive arts therapist. Her lifelong passions for the creative arts, philosophy, spirituality, and metaphysics come together in “Jonas and the Mountain”—which, although ostensibly fictional, is the “truest” work she's ever written. Her writing can also be found in journals and anthologies, including two creative nonfiction anthologies that she conceived and edited: “Body Breakdowns: Tales of Illness and Recovery” and “Emails From India: Women Write Home.” Music from her original folk-roots album “Better This Way” is available everywhere. She lives in BC, Canada. For more about Janis Harper, check out her website:

Dear Reader: I hope Jonas and the Mountain will become a companion to you, one you can turn to again and again to help you answer the big questions or show you how you can answer them yourself. I hope it will help you acquire new ideas and ways of looking at life, as well as new questions. I hope your world will widen a little, become imbued with magic and miracle, and open up to what seemed impossible. Finally, dear reader, I hope you love reading Jonas and the Mountain as much as I loved writing it.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite

Jonas was not sure why he went to India but his best friend Bruce had invited him, and he was ready for a change in his life. He had experienced several painful events recently, including a divorce, which led to an exploration of various spiritual belief systems. Some “inner” changes had occurred, creating shifts in his awareness. At the holy Mt. Arunachala, he joined other seekers and found the guru D. D became a special teacher to Jonas. Soon thereafter, Jonas met Anamika, also from the city of Vancouver, Canada. There was an immediate, familiar recognition between the two. She taught a different perspective than D, also enriching for Jonas. How the lives of Jonas, Bruce, and Anamika intersected, as well as how beliefs and new behaviors expanded, comprise the intriguing fictional work, Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story, crafted by author Janis Harper.

While a love story develops, a variety of teachings are intertwined throughout the story. These teachings are from several schools of thought. What is unique about this book is the realistic journey of each person. There are struggles, with times of confusion and questioning. There are also times of great joy when one of the characters reaches a deeper level of awareness. Additionally, how these new beliefs affect relationships is also revealing; this is another common part of all individual spiritual journeys but is often not included in spiritual path books. The skillful writing makes this information accessible and clear. Author Janis Harper has written a captivating and informative work in Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking spiritual knowledge and experiences.

Pikasho Deka

Jonas and The Mountain by Janis Harper follows a Canadian man as he undertakes a journey of self-discovery at the foothills of a holy mountain in Southern India. Vancouver inhabitant Jonas' life falls apart after his marriage of ten years comes to an abrupt end when his wife unexpectedly leaves him for his best friend. Feeling lost and alone, Jonas agrees to accompany his co-worker, Bruce, on a trip to Mt. Arunachala in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. Soon, he finds himself enamored with the teachings of a non-dualist guru named D. As he begins his journey of self-discovery, Jonas meets Anamika, a fellow Canadian who has become a guide for lost souls since she arrived in India. Feeling an instant mutual connection with Anamika, is Jonas finally ready to move on?

A poignant tale about self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment, Jonas and The Mountain is an introspective study of the concept of existence that makes you question the nature of reality and your place in this universe. Author Janis Harper provides some deep thoughts based on philosophy and metaphysics that leave a lot to ponder long after you've finished reading the book. Due to the premise and the literary nature of the work, the pacing can feel a bit slow. But it only enhances the reading experience as you're able to soak up the concepts at your own pace. Jonas and The Mountain is one of the most unique books I've read this year. If you're in the mood for some philosophical musings, I highly recommend it.

Rita Reynolds, La Joie magazine

A grand story, a mystical experience you will not forget
Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2022
Verified Purchase

Jonas and the Mountain is classified as a novel. And as such, it is intriguing, exciting, compelling, and profound. The characters are strong, the story line is exemplary, and the ending is decidedly surprising, as a good ending should be.

But of special interest to this reader is the mystical dynamic of the characters and story, the journey into the astonishing realm of realities the author, Janis Harper, leads us on. This book offers so much in the way of insight into life: in relationships, yearning to know more about ourselves, multiple realities, existing in and through all time and space and so much more. In every chapter we feels as if the finest teacher sits before us, answering all those questions we hold deep within, about so much more than what we see and think we know on the surface of our existence on Earth.

But the author does not preach at us, nor do the characters who would be such teachers in the storyline. We are in sacred India at the base of a holy mountain, searching, learning, asking question after question even as the plot carries us forward. Jonas and the Mountain is the perfect blend of truth interwoven with story. It could not be better, in this reviewer’s opinion.

Janis Harper offers us so much more with this fine volume. At the end of the book is a listing called “Anamika’s Exercises and Meditations” to practice on your own. There is, for example, “The Other Lives Exercise”, “Listening Meditation”, and “Self-compassion Meditation.” She also includes a “Subject Guide to Anamika’s Talks”… but to understand who Anamika is and why her talks and meditations are so valuable, you will need to read this amazing book! I highly recommend doing so.

The author is a writer (among many other talents) whose works have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She has a strong mystical background and through her personal experience, teaching, songwriting and authorship, helps us on our own quest for the nature of reality. Please visit her website at to learn more or to contact her.

Toby Johnson

This is a lovely book. It's part "girl-meets-boy" romance and part satsang and spiritual wisdom. One of the characters, a young woman from Vancouver, British Columbia, who goes by the self-canceling appellation Anamika, i.e., "No Name," attracts a small group of followers while she is on a sort of private retreat in India and hosts little talks with them about spiritual questions.

Anamika's lessons offer quirky ways to understand the big questions—afterlife, karma, why bad things happen, love, helping others, illness, dreams, space travel, the nature of time, and more…

Another character, the eponymous Jonas, while bumming around India, needing to cope with the loss of a marriage, a best friend, and a career as a teacher, also goes on a retreat. Suddenly inspired, Jonas signs up for a two-week structured, silent retreat taught by a guru who is called only by the letter D. D's teachings constitute another set of teachings. And Jonas has several intense mystical experiences during the retreat which also reveal insights into higher truth.

The "teachings" in the book are complementary with one another but not particularly consistent. There's no doctrine being espoused or pushed—other, maybe, than that spiritual thoughts and mystical writing can be fascinating just for its own sake. And that fascination itself is a kind of spiritual experience. Reading about spiritual experience is a spiritual experience. Asking the big questions opens the mind and provides its own kind of enlightenment even when it isn't giving simple or specific answers.

Tying all this together in Janis Harper's novel is a sweet romance. The complications of sex and love provide a plot that helps carry the story and develop the characters. Girl-meets-boy, girl-loses-boy, girl-gets-boy—or maybe the other way around—is so archetypal, it necessarily generates a plot. And the romance plot demonstrates one of the central threads in the spiritual teachings: that we jointly "create" the world of our experience by intention and expectation. This thread includes a beautifully written sex scene that draws together the mystical consciousness and the simple human emotions of love and desire.

Inspired by the real life story of the early-20th century Indian mystic and guru Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), whose mountain hermitage was on The Mountain in the book's title, the central big question is "Who am I?" and its corollary then "Are there really other people?"

Does anything really exist outside our minds which are experiencing it—and thereby generating it? In one of Anamika's little talks with her followers, she poses this question as "Do the stars really exist?" That is, does outer space really represent inner space? Are the "stars" our minds' experience of how vast consciousness is within us? And, indeed, is it so that the stars really exist AND are clues to the reaches of consciousness?

I thoroughly enjoyed—and felt inspired by—encountering all the marvelous questions in this book. It was a good read for the story, and an even better read for the spiritual stimulation.

Reviewed by Toby Johnson, author of Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell, and other books and novels.

The author's website is

Jonas and the Mountain can be requested at any bookstore in the US. And independent bookstores are supported in the process!

The author did an 8-episode podcast, "Jonas and the Moutain Journeys," reading 10-minute excerpts of Jonas, available on YouTube, and many other platforms, but likely most easily accessible on the publisher's website :