Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Review: Walking on Water

Honeycrisp apples ruined me for all other apples. There is just nothing that compares to the taste of a honeycrisp. I think the same is true for me with The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I loved that book so much that all other walking/journey books pale in comparison. Sad, but true.

Walking on Water was the final installment of Richard Paul Evans' journey series, The Walk. It was very inspirational and did cause me to feel stirring emotions, but the travelogue aspects of the telling got in the way of the significant message. I did cry often during this last volume. I was deeply saddened (which means I did come to care strongly about the main character) when Alan Christoffersen's father passed away from a heart attack. How many losses can one character tally up? Seriously! The poor man lost his wife, his business, his home, his ability to walk (when faced with a brain tumor), and now, the loss of his only remaining relative. Moreover, when he finally gathers the courage to admit to loving his previous employee, Falene, she shatters his hopes by telling him she is getting married. It was all a bit too much for me.

While this was an excellent conclusion to the series, I wasn't exactly sad to be done with it all. I liked the main character well enough and did care deeply about his life experiences, but I had journeyed with him long enough. Indeed, I think if the author had left out all the tidbits about what the characters ate and some of the less significant bits about the locations along the journey, he could have condensed this series into three books instead of five. It was a grand idea and I appreciated hearing the author's comments at the end of the audio version, letting the reader know what thought processes led to the germ of the story. Story ideas are out there everywhere just waiting to pop into the head of a talented writer, someone skilled enough to convey real meaning through the telling of the tale.

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