May 9, 2014

Book Review Fridays- Three Cups of Tea

I really, really wanted to love this book. The idea, and the message just seemed very noble in its own right. Who doesn't love the idea of a man coming to climb a mountain, getting inspired, and then spending the next years of his life building schools for underprivileged children in a third-world country? That was the draw for me. I wish I was Greg Mortenson. I wish I could have built schools for children, especially for girls that didn't have access to public education. This was my chance to be a vicarious altruist. 

Sadly, that didn't happen.

The writing style is more like an essay than a story. I never felt swept away at any part of this book. I kept waiting for that moment when I would connect, it never came. The content is rich, the descriptions are thorough, but I feel the heart is not there. The story-telling is very vanilla. The focus was very much on Mortenson rather than the work that he was doing. His pretentiousness overshadowed most of his interactions with the townspeople.

So is there anything good about this book? Yes, there are some redeeming qualities in the book. One of my favorite parts is when Greg is sharing the yak tea with Haji Ali.  That chapter brought to life deep characters with thoughtful reflections.

The scandal that has overcome this book was also something that was in the back of my mind while I was reading. I kept wondering if I was reading a fictional story. Whether or not Mortenson truly helped those girls, we will never know for sure.

Overall, the message is positive, but execution was off-point.

Score- 2.5 out of 5

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