Attitude, as they say, is everything. When local author Josephine Waitstill Swan found herself broke and friendless in Montana, she might have viewed the 2,500-mile hitchhike home as a punishment, as rotten luck or as a sign that the world had it in for her. Instead, she took it as a divine trial, a test of her faith that she was meant to accept: to accept the good, the bad, and whatever else life threw at her.

Swan recounts her 2011 thumbing journey in “The Right Car: A Hitchhiker's Hymn to the Divine in Humanity,” available online in paperback and e-book formats. Switching easily between forthright narrative and devout meditation, she recounts the hardships of the road, the kindness of strangers and, above all, the conviction that whatever happens to her is meant to happen.

A long-time Maine resident, Swan has spend numerous periods over 27 years in a Siddha Yoga meditation ashram under the teaching of Swami Chidvilasananda (the guru of Elizabeth Gilbert's “Eat, Pray, Love”). She has frequently lived in solitude, often in tents or self-built cabins, in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington State and on commercial fishing vessels in Alaska. She currently spends most of her time on a remote island in Penobscot Bay. For more information, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or