|Greetings from Utopia Park|
Title: Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood
Author: Claire Hoffman
Publication Date: 6/7/16
How I Found It: TLC Book Tours
Date Completed: 6/17/16
Summary: After her father left, Claire's mother packed up her, her brother, and their few belongings and moved to Iowa. There, they became immersed in the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement and community. Now, Hoffman looks back on her time so deep within the movement and how it shaped her.
What I Thought: I always love how TLC Book Tours helps me discover books I never would find on my own. This is a perfect example. I don't know that I ever would have picked up Hoffman's memoir about her childhood immersed in the TM community if it were not offered to me through TLC. But it was, and I did, and I learned so much.
I first learned of the TM community in Fairfield, Iowa back when Oprah visited and talked to members of the group a few years back. She did a whole episode of Oprah's Next Chapter on the group. Now, Oprah made things seem pretty cheery. The episode shows her chatting it up with a couple who moved to Fairfield and are, apparently, living happier, healthier lives there as part of the movement. I find it particularly interesting that the wife feels TM has made her Christian faith stronger. I can see her logic, but it difficult to reconcile with her immersion in the highly spiritual movement. Regardless, Oprah only showed a very shiny side of the community.
Hoffman gives a more transparent insiders perspective.