The Saffron Road is a book about a two-year, 60,000-mile global odyssey - an unforgettable journey from the East to the West in the company of the extraordinary women who choose to dedicate their lives to Buddhism. Beginning her journey in the Himalayas, close to the birthplace of the Buddha, long-time foreign correspondent Christine Toomey travels from Nepal to India, through Burma, Japan, and on to North American and Europe, along the way visiting contemporary nunneries to meet the women who practice there. Amongst those she talks to are a group of "kung fu" nuns, an acclaimed novelist, a princess, a concert violinist, a former BBC journalist and a one-time Washington political aide. Through these conversations, the daily reality of the Buddhist existence is gradually revealed, together with the diverse spiritual paths leading these women towards nirvana.
Combining travelogue, history, interviews and personal reflection, The Saffron Road opens the door to a rarely glimpsed world of ritual, discipline and enlightenment.
The Saffron Road published by Portobello Books is available June 4th 2015 from Amazon.co.uk, Waterston's, Stanfords and other bookshops