It is ultimately about change and how it affects our lives. In a wider sense, how Darwin's theory was changing views on science, religion and the natural world and in a more personal way, how one priest was changed and forced to re-examine his beliefs about faith and love by his travels and experiences in China and Mongolia. In particualr his feelings for a woman he meets and falls in love with during his stay.
It is very atmospheric, really evoking a sense of the places and events described and awakened my interest in a place and time I knew little about before reading this book. You can't read it and not be left wishing to see these places yourself.
Parts of this book have stayed with me long after I finished the last page.
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