Perhaps it is because I come from the other side of the Atlantic but this book nearly drove me crazy. Every statement is expanded with a simile or a metaphor . 'T-bone filled the doorway like the villain in a slasher movie. His gaping maw was bent at a horrified angle, as though Picasso had done his makeup that morning.'' And on and on it goes, one strained simile after another. I persisted because a good friend had recommended it to me, but it gave up after 82 pages. I just couldn't take any more of that dreadful overworked American humour. It is honest and open, and gives a good account of what a monastery life is really like, but for me it is spoiled by the awful writing. I honestly don't know how it got past the editor's desk, so atrocious is the writing. I don't like to be negative for the sake of it, but be warned: more than a few of the similes won't mean anything to those of us who are not American with references to this movie or TV character or that US celebrity. I like American humour, but please, every sentence doesn't need to sound like the punch line in some Mel Brooks movie. See, I'm doing it now!