Actually, I LOVE this book: Zen pilgrimage and Korean Dharma history to boot (just my thing}. Traveling with Larkin is like coffee with your best friend just outside the Zen hall -- as close (and enjoyable) as you can get without going in and actually sitting down on a mat yourself.
The only reason I didn't give it five stars (and I almost gave it three) was the back cover, upon which the marketing folks at the publishing house wrote something to the effect of Larkin being the first Western woman to have been honored with a pilgrimage through Korea's temples. Not only is this untrue, but NOWHERE in the text does Larkin herself make such a claim. What she DOES say is simply that her and traveling buddy Haju (also a WOMAN!) were the first Western women some of the Korean monks had ever seen -- which I'm sure was true.
Kind of a big difference there. Either someone at Celestial Arts accidentally misread Larkin's text, or they hoped to sell more books by stretching the truth. Either way is a little disrespectful not only to Larkin, but to the women who made the journey before her.
What an amazing journey I took when I read this book. Knowing little to nothing about Korea (ok there was that MASH tv show) and just a tad bit more about zen, I found myself alternating between tenderness and strength as I read through her journeys. A must read for anyone who thinks they are able to handle the rigors of a spiritual practice!