Review – Kate James – When Gods Collide

The daughter of Christian missionaries, Kate James spent a good part of her childhood and early teens in south India, and she continues to visit India regularly when time and money allow. When Gods Collide: An unbeliever’s pilgrimage along India’s Coromandel Coast is Kate’s account of her journey to India to find out more about the murder ten years earlier of Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons.

She had always thought of India as a place tolerant of different religions, and so she also wants to know how religious sentiment is changing in India. Having rejected the faith of her extended family as an adult, she is still bound on many levels to those she calls “my people”. It is not entirely clear until the end of the book exactly why the murder raises so many strong emotions in Kate and her motivations become clearer, to herself and also to the reader, as the story unfolds. Along the way she visits her old school, an ashram, temples, and a hospital. The people she meets have their own stories and insights to share.

Kate tells a journalist that she is always happy in Singapore, no matter in which direction she’s travelling, because it means she is on her way home. It’s a comment that sums up her life in a way as someone who has lived between countries and cultures. My favourite chapter is the last one when she comes home to Melbourne. Her dogs lick her face and cry with happiness when they see her again – “of course, they also do that when I come home from a five minute trip to the milk bar.” It’s autumn, the best time of year in Melbourne and a trip to the bustling Preston Market – with the Vietnamese woman who sells Kate her fish, Shane the butcher, the Italian owner of Placido’s Coffee – makes her think “maybe these are my people”.

This is an incredibly honest book. Kate shares her uncertainties, questioning and insecurities in a very open way. I suspect the journey Kate James is on is not over yet. I very much enjoyed this book and I hope to read more the next time she takes to the open road.

Kate James – When Gods Collide

published by Hardie Grant 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Proud Foot Words

Author page of Julie Proudfoot

claire varley

writer, person, etc

voxbendigo

A writing portal for Central Victoria

The Wine Wankers

G’day, you’re at the best wine blog ever! We're all about wine; without the wankery.

Perceval's Angels

Delinquent Angel: John Perceval's ceramic angels

michellemevans

Leadership scholar and cultural producer

Devoted Eclectic

...reading, writing and reflecting

Threads & More

"for the love of it!"

A Novel Approach

thoughts on books

Orange Pekoe Reviews

Reading for Pleasure

An Adventure in Reading

"I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I did till we read..." A blog about books and writing, with occasional ramblings about the important things in life.

"I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I did till we read..." A blog about books and writing, with occasional ramblings about the important things in life.

The unofficial guide to Bendigo

The Unofficial Guide to Bendigo and Central Victoria

luvzalkemy

"I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I did till we read..." A blog about books and writing, with occasional ramblings about the important things in life.

All The Books I Can Read

1 girl....2 many books!

quickwittier

Ramblings of a Quickwit

%d bloggers like this: