________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 8 . . . . December 7, 2007


The Secret Journey of Pauline Siddhartha. (Pauline.btw Book Three).

Edeet Ravel.
Vancouver, BC: Raincoast Books, 2007.
182 pp., pbk., $11.95.
ISBN 978-1-55192-974-3.

Grades 6-8 / Ages 11-13.

Review by Georgie Perigny.

**** /4


As soon as I saw his blue eyes piercing into me, my heart began to pound. He is the handsomest person I have ever seen in my life. To see him is to melt. I mean, my boyfriend Yoshi is cute, very cute indeed. But it’s different when someone is a guru. I couldn’t believe Nigel Sirvananda had come just for me – ordinary Pauline. When I climbed into the passenger seat of his car, I felt I was going for a ride with a movie star. I was almost trembling with excitement. However, my goal is peace and serenity, so I did my best to control my worldly emotions.

The Secret Journey of Pauline Siddhartha by award-winning author, Edeet Ravel, is another tantalizing book from the “Pauline.btw” series. The story is told by Pauline Carelli-Bloom, an unpredictably charming high school student and teen novelist. Through her journaling, Pauline takes readers on an adventure with her as she tries to find her identity in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty. To emphasize her emotions, Pauline includes famous quotes and poems throughout the book: “I’ve endured very, very bitter misery” (Emily Bronte).

     In The Secret Journey of Pauline Siddhartha, Pauline is sent to London, England, to visit her trendy grandmother, Daphne. Not only is London the most enticing city filled with museums, galleries and gardens, but Pauline meets Nigel Sirvananda, an awe-inspiring spiritual teacher, who helps Pauline seek enlightenment, among other things. Fascinated by the most handsome guru she has ever met, Pauline finds herself on a journey towards Nirvana, the highest stage of understanding and peace, or so she thinks. When she returns to her hometown of Ghent, ON, Pauline cannot understand her friend’s disinterest in her path to spiritual truth. She is also disappointed in her boyfriend Yoshis’ remoteness and dispassion towards her. It is through her search for peace and enlightenment that Pauline finds her life filled with turmoil and grief. The teenage years appear to be the most difficult years, and everything seems to be going wrong. Yoshi will no longer speak to her, her mother announced her engagement to Agatone and has decided that she will be moving to Greece for six months, and her father is distracted with his painting and his involvement with his girlfriend. Pauline finds herself alone and abandoned. There are many changes and confusion in her life, and Pauline wonders if she will ever find the peace for which she is looking.

     The Secret Journey of Pauline Siddhartha, the third volume in the “Pauline.btw” series, is a hilarious book that keeps readers spellbound and entices readers to continue reading.

Highly Recommended.

Georgie Perigny is a teacher at River Valley School in Sundre, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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