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The Novice Unabridged: A Story of True Love | [Thich Nhat Hanh]

The Novice Unabridged: A Story of True Love

Born to an aristocratic family in rural Vietnam, Kinh Tam’s uncommon beauty and intelligence were obvious to all she encountered. From an early age she was drawn to the teachings of Buddha and the rewards of a monastic life, but to please her family she agreed to walk the traditional path of marriage. Throughout her marriage, Kinh Tam’s mind was devoted to her husband but her heart never waivered from her true calling.
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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh transforms an ancient folktale into a timeless parable of a young woman who dares to risk her life for her faith.

Born to an aristocratic family in rural Vietnam, Kinh Tam’s uncommon beauty and intelligence were obvious to all she encountered. From an early age she was drawn to the teachings of Buddha and the rewards of a monastic life, but to please her family she agreed to walk the traditional path of marriage.

Throughout her marriage, Kinh Tam’s mind was devoted to her husband but her heart never waivered from her true calling. She wanted to be a monk. And yet Buddhism was still new to Vietnam and temples accepted only men for ordination. Making a decision that would forever change her life, Kinh Tam left town, disguised herself as a man, and joined a monastery as a novice.

Despite the many challenges of living as a man, Kinh Tam thrived and became a beloved member of the community. Years of profound joy and peace passed until a local woman accuses the novice of fathering her unborn child. Kinh Tam is torn between two impossible choices: keep her secret and endure brutal punishment or reveal the truth that would prove her innocence but put an end to her spiritual path.

Facing the unbearable with the boundless heart of Buddha, her choice forever changes her life, her country, and her faith.

In spare, elegant prose, Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that we, too, face our own injustices and suffering, and by connecting with love, we can, like Kinh Tam, discover a mind and heart that are peaceful, happy, and free.

©2011 Unified Buddhist Church (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

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  •  
    Kyle Krueger WI United States 03-09-14
    Kyle Krueger WI United States 03-09-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Novice..listened to on the way from WI to IL"
    If you could sum up The Novice Unabridged in three words, what would they be?

    Beautiful Truthful and Magnificent


    What other book might you compare The Novice Unabridged to and why?

    Thich Nhat Hanh's Anger could be similar, although this book is a novel, and Hanh doesn't write many novels so this stands by itself.


    Which character – as performed by Dan Woren – was your favorite?

    Kinh Tam


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 09-02-12
    Melanie SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 09-02-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Loved it"
    Would you listen to The Novice Unabridged again? Why?

    I would listen to it again because it was inspirational.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It taught a spiritual lesson without being preachy.


    Have you listened to any of Dan Woren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I had not listened to any other of Dan woren's performances before.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I enjoy listening to audible books while I travel in the car. It is rare for me to listen all in one sitting. This way I have something to look forward to besides the drivel on most radio stations.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada 07-23-12
    Ruth Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada 07-23-12 Member Since 2004
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    "A pleasant story in the Buddist tradition"

    Thich Nhat Hanh is a very gifted teacher of the subtle points of self inquiry. So, this story could be viewed as a guided meditation. It allows you to look at the theory that the river of thought, and emotion that is your life is just that, it passes, as a river would pass a certain point on a shoreline.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada 07-23-12
    Ruth Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada 07-23-12 Member Since 2004
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    Story
    "A pleasant story in the Buddist tradition"

    Thich Nhat Hanh is a very gifted teacher of the subtle points of self inquiry. So, this story could be viewed as a guided meditation. It allows you to look at the theory that the river of thought, and emotion that is your life is just that, it passes, as a river would pass a certain point on a shoreline.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blaine Camas, WA, United States 10-23-12
    Blaine Camas, WA, United States 10-23-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Not my cup of chai"

    I really wanted to like this story. The premise sounded very promising, but unfortunately for me, it wondered all OVER the place, with frequent, heavy handed sermons. When the writing finally gets back to the actual story, it was good, not great. Overall, I just felt disappointed and frustrated. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, but this was all together forgettable for me. :(

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 07-02-12
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 07-02-12 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lost in translation?"

    Seemed to me like a thinly veiled presentation of Buddist beliefs in the form of story... and as a story it was a painful listen. Taken from ancient Vietnamese folklore, it just didn't make the translation to English for me. I didn't find it spare or elegant prose... I recently read "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" and found it a wonderful folktale rendition... was wanting more of the same and didn't find it here,

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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