Hurry Shortens Life

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There is an energy that gives life to all things, that force is the Tao. “Everything Under the Sky”  describes Taoist spiritualism and how it shapes the characters in this novel. This book is a fascinating fictional journey in search of the tomb of the First Emperor. You will learn the wisdom of the I Ching and visualize a vast palace like tomb buried under ground where thousands of innocent people were buried alive to keep the location secret. To the east is the discovery of the well known Terra-Cotta Army from 209 BC discovered in 1974. This story has elements of Indiana Jones like adventures and a great surprise ending.

Ms. Asensi is a phenomenal writer interweaving fact and fiction. Her heroine undertakes a journey to discover the tomb and it’s riches so that she can pay off  massive debts she inherited from her deceased husband. She is feisty, sassy and crabby and is more than a match for the ancient antiquarian who steps forward to be her guide. He is wily and frustrating to Elvira because of his Chinese disregard for the female race. She refuses to be invisible and they develop a mismatched partnership that adds great entertainment value.

You will learn a lot about Chinese geography, science, and culture (but in a fun way) as clues about the treasures whereabouts surface. Did you know that bamboo caulked with cement carried methane gas to cities for lighting over fifteen hundred years ago? And that seismoscopes were built in the shape of dragons to detect earthquakes as far back as the second century?! Wow and we thought they were backward. Dynasties would wipe out whole families and all their descendants to ensure the success of an empire. There are many paradoxes…such as they are in a mad rush to discover the treasure before the assassins chasing them do-while following Taoist principles that has Elvira pulling out her hair. Love this book even though I got impatient (not very Taoist of me) with all the translations needed to understand Chinese culture and wisdom. The author provides an excellent glossary at the end of the book.

Now back to simpler things. Bianca is now back to her old self, her stitches gone and her face lift looks great. She was smiling today I swear and will only have to wear the martini collar a little longer. It’s nice to have the routine back. Telva made homemade English muffins today. They were surprisingly easy and beyond good. I’m starting my next book choice “how to love an american man” by Christine Gasbarre. I’ll leave you with some Taoist wisdom… “You must learn to see the good in the bad, and the bad in the good”. Oh brother.

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