The Walk by Richard Paul Evans, published by Simon & Schuster, copyright 2010 is a beautiful hardbound book of 289 pages and 37 chapters, along with a prologue and epilogue. It's the first novel in a series, and I guarantee you don't want to miss it. I started reading The Walk Monday and completed it on Wednesday evening. I didn't want to put it down. The novel is spun in first person and hooked me. I cried. I felt. I identified. And, I was touched. A nature lover myself, I enjoyed the descriptions of woods and mountains the main character, Alan, travels through on his walkabout to Key West, Florida. The book is vivid with descriptions and offers a well-told story of true love, loss, pain, and heartache.
Alan goes from having everything a man could want, expensive cars, luxury home, beautiful furniture, his own successful business, and a beautiful love-of-his-life wife, McKale to a widower and a jobless, homeless wanderer in a short period of time. When he loses his beloved, Alan doesn't want to live and feels there's nothing left, but she made him promise to live. His heart is stabbed with grief and guilt because she asked him to call in sick and stay home with her the day of her accident, but he had an important business deal he couldn't miss. She'd planned a surprise weekend and promised he'd never forget it. Instead, he got a shocking surprise he'd never forget, and he learned the dearest lesson in life--people are more important than things. Without his best friend and wife to share them, material objects mean nothing.
Heartsick, Alan strikes out to walk to Key West, Florida, and encounters people along his journey of life. He discovers that none of those expensive "things" he worked so hard to earn mean anything without McKale. They'd been young and in a hurry to possess it all. She'd wanted children, but he'd talked her into waiting until they were secure. Another twinge of guilt pricks his heart. Now, she's gone, and he'll never father the children she wanted.
This is an inspirational, spiritual story with an out-of-body experience a wise old woman shares with Alan at a bed and breakfast. He crosses the path of a lady in distress and helps her, but turns down the ride she offers. He faces a gang, and on the brink of death, realizes he wants to live. Will the lady in distress turn out to be an angel? This novel illustrates how suddenly life can change, in the blink of an eye, by careless choices and decisions. It teaches not to rely on the assumption of tomorrow; there may not be one.
I felt as though I walked the journey with Alan, in his shoes. If I hadn't had to work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I'd have completed this book in one day. I hated to put it aside to leave for work in the morning, and I grabbed it to complete it when I returned home. It will touch your heart and grip your soul. Get your copy from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com. Visit the author on Facebook and follow his fan page to keep abreast of this series. Personally, I can't wait for the next one. This novel has hit the New York Times bestseller list for three weeks in a row! I give it 5 stars. I cried with Alan through his journey of betrayal and loss, enjoyed woods and mountains with him, and found renewed hope through his walk. He is the author of The Christmas Box and all 14 of his novels have made the bestseller list!