The Novice Unabridged

  • by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Narrated by Dan Woren
  • 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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. :(
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- Blaine

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,
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- Jan "Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-23-2011
  • Publisher: HarperAudio