Foreword Reviews

In Pursuit of Love, Spirituality and Happiness

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

Naturally beautiful locations and cultural clashes and expectations are brought to life in this graceful love story.

The son of a wealthy businessman must decide between worldly ambition and a life built on a foundation of truth and integrity in Gita Audhya’s graceful love story, In Pursuit of Love, Spirituality and Happiness.

Brought up in luxury and ease, Jonathan Foster is slated to carry on his father’s legacy in the family business, but he finds his world crumbling around him when he learns of his father’s unscrupulous business practices. On a solo trip to Hawaii, Jonathan meets Oliana, a lovely young Hawaiian woman, and the two fall in love. The contrast between Jonathan’s wealth and social position and Oliana’s simple, traditional, family-centered background is stark, and the emotional turmoil it creates comes close to tearing them apart.

Set in the natural beauty of Hawaii, the upper-class society of Houston, and India, the story blends the passion of young love with concerns over family expectations and personal responsibility; business ethics; and issues of class, race, and social status. The young couple’s struggle to reconcile their love for their respective families with the desires of their own hearts is rendered with skill and compassion, as each, in his or her own way, is forced by events to evaluate and decide upon the most authentic course to follow.

The text explores how exposure to new ways of thinking can provoke both inner conflict and awakening without becoming pedantic or “preachy,” and shows how trusted and faithful friends can provide support and encouragement. Learning from Oliana, as well as from ancient Hawaiian beliefs and customs and the teachings of Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism, Jonathan realizes that happiness cannot be bought, but comes out of “the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to cherish life, and to be needed.”

The book contains some errors in word usage, punctuation, spelling, and syntax. Idiomatic expressions are not always rendered correctly, and there are some factual mistakes, as with the height given for Kilauea. The title does not accurately reflect the genre of the book—it is a title more appropriate to the self-help or personal development genre than to a delightful fictional love story. The cover art is colorful, dramatic, and tasteful, and the layout and page design are attractive and easy on the eye. Skillful pacing, natural dialogue, convincing and realistic conflict, and well-rounded characters whose inner lives are revealed as they confront the events of the story make this book a pleasure to read.

Gita Audhya’s In Pursuit of Love, Spirituality, and Happiness powerfully portrays the contrast between lives that honor spirituality, ethics, and community and those that are based on greed and selfishness. Going beyond mere entertainment, this book offers a commentary on what is truly important for a rich, meaningful, and happy life.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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