Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan

Zeppa, Jamie

  13 Reviews

A rich and uplifting memoir of Zeppa's three years on a teaching programme in Bhutan, the tiny Buddhist kingdom south of Tibet. She gives an account of the difficulties and joys of living alone in an alien culture far away from the security of home in Canada, but comes to be reinvigorated by the warmth of this country's people.

Comments from Groups

Delightful descriptions of the country...Very honest analysis of herself [author] and her responses to Buddhism, the people and the mountain tracks. Opotiki 001

All felt we had learned much about such an unknown part of the world - which is always good! Upper Hutt 002

We did agree that the ending seemed a bit 'hurried' but concluded that the story was more a focus of her journey to find herself and become part of Bhutan...Dunedin 067

Not your normal travel book - gave a great insight into life for a (slightly naive) newcomer to Bhutan. Christchurch 077



WINT 001
Everyone enjoyed the first part of the book but felt the second part could have used some more editing. It was interesting to learn about Bhutan and everyone had done some research on it following the reading of the book. We discussed volunteer programmes and their effectiveness, especially in someone young with a narrow experience of living in different communities. Overall a worthwhile read.
TAUR 043
Everyone enjoyed the story, but one person found the character unlikeable. A lot of discussion focused on the professional boundary being crossed in a student/teacher relationship, and cross-cultural marriages and Buddhism. The group wondered if another book may follow due to the rushed ending.
All enjoyed it but there was a sense of the ending being incomplete. Well-written, one could imagine where she was. A very good book for book groups - it promoted in depth discussions.
NELS 042
All enjoyed this book. Recommend.
Not read by everyone - however a good robust discussion ensued. Most people felt Jamie was rather nave.
NELS 002
Group enjoyed the book very much - gave some of the not so nice background on Bhutan in a nice way.
NEWP 013
We enjoyed learning about Bhutan and thought it was well-written. Jamie was pretty plucky, but a little self-righteous from time to time. From a travel book perspective it was interestingly different.
CHCH 277
Beautiful writing thoroughly enjoyed by all. Some disappointment at the ending, which led to research to find out what happened next!
CHCH 010
We all liked this book and had an interesting wide-ranging discussion on many aspects of same. We enjoyed the descriptions of the beautiful scenery and the generally unspoiled people who live there. None of us previously knew much about Bhutan and we learnt many worthwhile facts about the country.
ROTO 012
Fabulous book - great discussion.
Nearly all our group enjoyed this book. Beautiful, descriptive writing and an illuminating insight into life in Bhutan. Good notes and questions generated a good , stimulating discussion. A highly recommended book.
NAP 021
We had a lengthy and positive discussion about this book, as we all found it interesting. The author managed very descriptive prose to describe exactly what we wanted to know about life in Bhutan. Well worth reading.
WELL 062
Really worth reading. Great descriptions of scenery and life as a volunteer. Would recommend it to others.