Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Road to Grace-Richard Paul Evans

The Road to Grace

Richard Paul Evans

Simon & Schuster, May 8 2012, $19.99

ISBN: 9781451628180

Still grieving the death of his wife McKale from a fall off a horse, widower Alan Christoffersen realized he had nothing left in Seattle. Adding to his sense of no connection was his business partner Kyle Craig stole all their clients and his home and cars were repossessed. Alan decided to walk across America to the farthest point from Washington State: Key West (see The Walk).

He has made it to Custer, South Dakota (see Miles to Go) where the one person besides his former partner that he never wants to see pleads with him to talk to her. That person is McKale’s mom, who he met once before at his wife’s funeral. Alan refuses as he considers her name on a par with Hitler for abandoning her daughter. Filled with remorse, Pamela refuses to give up on her need for forgiveness from Alan. Filled with regrets and guilt, he cannot grant to her what she covets for only her late daughter can do that and she is no longer here. However, Pamela explains she understands that but just having him forgive her would be a small step towards her redemption

The entertaining third Alan Christoffersen diaries continue the protagonist’s travels as he heads from South Dakota through Iowa to St. Louis. The people he meets (especially those overwhelmed by abject loneliness) and the places he visits brings to life these three states although at times the plot can be overly melodramatic. Still this tender tale focuses on “To err is human, to forgive divine”; but Alan is a grieving human so The Road to Grace may be one he refuses to travel.

Harriet Klausner

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