Book Review of The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan

You read books you may like them. But there are very few books with which you can actually connect. The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan is one such book. Thanks to the publishers and NetGallery for providing me the ARC of this lovely book which I could relate with.

It was my first time reading a travelogue and second time in a long time reading a memoir. When I had requested this book on NetGallery I actually thought that the book would be boring but because the synopsis appealed to me, I went ahead and requested the book. I am glad I did and read the book as well.

It takes real guts to just give up your daily mundane life and travel. One needs to deal with a lot of things such as societal pressures, risks of not having a stable job, risk of risking your life for something that is just unknown and unpredictable. Kim took that risk and was supported by her husband who also left everything and the couple decided to travel.

They say “All those who wander are not lost”. This quote fits aptly with the experiences that Kim has shared in the book. Probably this is the most honest book I have ever read till date. Kim has not been shy in stating what was going in her life, how (while they were travelling) she just wanted to leave her husband Brian despite being aware of the fact how much he had supported her in all walks of life. She discovered her truer self even more when she started travelling and how travelling made her mindful of her personal state. She didn’t lose herself but instead found what she really wanted from her life.

Words have a tendency to spoil the feelings and thoughts but Kim chose just the perfect words to spill out her feelings. It is her first book and i am amazed at her style of writing. Kim is a natural writer. She not only has the gift of expressing her feelings in simplest of words, but also the description that she has given of some of the mundane things make you visualize and value those mundane things. Some of my favourite quotes –

  • “The emptiness inside of me had spread like spilled oil, leaving a stain of darkness in its wake”
  • “When I closed the door behind me, it clicked into place and the tiny sound was magnified by utter silence of my surroundings”
  • “Ending your relationship carries the loss of possibility of your future together, pain of past and perhaps the fear of being alone”
  • “It is the small kindness, so ripe and available yet so rarely exchanged that turn ordinary interactions into miracles”
  • Describing India “An incredible, beautiful, hideous cauldron of humanity as stripped and exposed as a skinned deer. If we tried to control our experiences in India, if we tried to make sense of the chaos, we’d hate it. In order to love it, we’d have to accept it just as it is”
  • “Enthusiasm is faith set on fire”
  • “That was the irony of travel. The bigger the distance between you and the familiar grew, the smaller and safer and friendlier the world felt”
  • “The magic of everything was that we would not have become who we became without each other”

The writing is fast, simple and very personal. A reader may actually relate with what the author has written in one way or the other. Her honesty is infectious and will make you ponder about are you really happy in what you are doing or may even force you to ask the important question “are you really satisfied with your life”. If you read this book as her memoir and if you are able to relate it with you life you may love this book. However, if you pick this book learn about her experiences in different countries, you may be slightly disappointed there. She has described the locations very superficially i felt.

One noteworthy thing was that when she began her travel, I felt there was a slight negativity in her writing about the places she visited (probably because a lot was going in her life at that time with herself and with her husband). And as she herself claims that visit to India would change her completely and you can see that change through her writing. The places she visits such as Nepal, Bali, Vietnam, after visiting India, she has described the good things about the places too and not just the negative ones.

I am in love with this book. Not just because the book is about learning to give selflessly but also because of how Kim has described what was going in her life during the travel and how step-by-step she overcame the problems and found the best solution possible.

Will recommend it to all those whose life is probably complicated at the moment and would want some answers. Even if it is not complicated, just buy this book when it is released on 1 April 2017 and enjoy. I am now also an avid follower of her blog.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

About the reviewer

Vipul Murarka likes to learn something new every time he picks up a book. He has done BSc (Hons) in Plant Biotechnology from University of Nottingham after which he has done MBA in Marketing from School Of Inspired Leadership. Right now he resides in Myanmar doing business in agriculture.

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