This book is classified as fiction, but anyone in search of a story will be generally disappointed. The story line is a mere thread to hold together and sugar coat teachings about Tibetan Buddhism, and like the thread that holds together a necklace, it more or less disappears under the beads of doctrine. But it is teaching very well done. The technique of the "parable" adds an emotional dimension to what might otherwise be a dry subject, holds reader interest and provides the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. In search of personified Wisdom with whom he has fallen in love and of an answer to his mother's suffering, the narrator goes to a secret garden over a period of 20 years and there meets various ancient Buddhist teachers who tell him sometimes in a very detailed way about: meditation and meditation techniques to attain compassion and freedom from negative states of mind, about universal suffering and death, past and future lives and the karmic influence between them, the realms of existence, how imprints from actions create our worlds, how the negative imprints can be overcome and the worlds changed, ethical living, the way of the spiritual warrior, and emptiness. The topics may be very familiar for Buddhists, though it will serve as a mini refresher course. A beginner might want to follow up on the book with something more organized, but will find this a good introduction. Non-Buddhist readers, while more clearly informed of Buddhist beliefs by the story, may not accept many elements of the doctrine, but it is after all a parable which invites metaphorical interpretation and adaptation of the lessons to the world view of the reader. All in all an informative, entertaining and useful book.