Buddha Da, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In her hugely acclaimed debut Anne Donovan tells an endearing, humorous yet unsentimental story of a working-class Glaswegian man who discovers Buddhism, rejects old habits and seeks a life more meaningful, only to alienate his immediate family in the process. Moving seamlessly between three family members, Donovan's clear-eyed, richly expressive prose sings off the page.

Each character's voice has its own subtle rhythm and the conclusion is a poignant mixture of hope and lingering reservations.

Buddha Da is a delight from one of Britain's best writers.




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This is a story about what happens when a working-class Glaswegian discovers Buddhism. He finds increasing inner peace, but as always, there's a conflict between his growing wish to withdraw from the world and conquer his desires, and all of his responsibilities to the rest of his family. The story is told alternately by Jimmy, his wife Liz and daughter Anne Marie, and we can be sympathetic to each one as they tell their story, while recognising the wrong turns they are taking. Buddha Da successfully takes a light-hearted approach to deal with some pretty serious issues. The story, at times, is a little bit pat, but it was a charming and enjoyable read.

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