My friend and critique partner, author Sandra Groom has published her debut novel, The Goddess of Kathmandu.
The story is set for the most part in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and charts Australian Lara Gordon’s journey of self discovery.
Lara travels to Nepal for a three-month sojourn after her work and romantic life falls apart in Sydney. In Kathmandu, she stays with a Nepalese family and enrols in a Nepali language course where she meets a group of fascinating people all seeking answers to questions about their own lives.
But this story is not just about Lara. It also examines the life of a young Nepali girl who is destined to become the Kumari, a young female goddess viewed as the embodiment of the devine female energy.
Sandra didn’t pull the concept for her novel out of thin air. She’s visited Kathmandu on numerous occasions, and continues to learn Nepali, the native language of Nepal.
Sandra writes with empathy and compassion about the Nepalese and evocatively of the incredibly beautiful yet dangerous Himalayan mountains.
If you’ve never been to Nepal and dream about going there (and it is a dream during the lockdowns imposed since the advent of COVID-19) or you’ve been there, done that! and hope to return one day, this book is a lovely introduction or refresher.