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Buddha's Wife.

Buddha's Wife

Gabriel Constans

Robert D. Reed Publishers

P. O. Box 1992, Bandon, OR

9781934759295 $14.95

Princess Yasodhara and Her Son Rahula

"Buddha's Wife" is a brilliant contribution to the genre of literary fiction. Gabriel Constans combines traditional stories of the heroism of Siddhartha (Buddha) with an imaginary fictional account of the story of Yasodhara and her son Rahula.

Yasodhara narrates her story. Hers is a story of birth into royal lineage and of then choosing poverty for love. She tells of the happiness of her early marriage and the birth of her son. This is followed by the experience of "drowning in sorrow" after her husband, Siddhartha, betrayed her and deserted them to pursue a life of "enlightenment."

Constans beautifully recreates Yasodhara's life to draw attention to the women around Buddha, to encourage the reader to rethink the spiritual implication and the injustice of inequality within the caste system. This inequality has yet to be resolved today, both in society and in religion. He exposes the inconsistency of religious men and expresses the emotions of Yasodhara's brother as he is "locked behind his daunting exterior of privilege."

Constans' writing reveals an amazing insight into the emotions of the heart. He puts into words the fear and pain of rejected love. He describes the price and sacrifice of following one's heart. He paints word pictures of the smoldering poison of hatred, of love turned to loathing, and of the gift of freedom found in forgiveness.

Each of the characters share an important role in calling attention to the nature of genuine religion, evidenced by Godlike attributes and character. "Buddha's Wife" is inspiring, and fervent, written with sensitivity.

Richard R. Blake

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Author:Blake, Richard R.
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2009
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