Through a series of life changing circumstances and loss, Doug, our main protagonist in this novel, is led to a point where he needs to escape the world to process all that has happened. We may associate with that feeling, however, his solution is a little more radical than we may consider – he embarks on a mammoth cycling journey across the USA, destined to bring him peace, one way or another.
We discover that his journey through life has not been an easy one and not far beneath the surface is a history of mental health issues that mean his take on “peace” may be one we find challenging. If the topic of suicide is a trigger for you, then I suggest you approach this book with caution.
The impact of the trauma on his mental health is evident, with suicidal thoughts naturally clouding his judgment, leading him down a few wrong paths. As the journey carries on his story unravels, revealing a difficult past with plenty of scars. But all through his life there is a history of God always being on his case.
He is presented with many opportunities to hear the Gospel, just none of them quite being the right time.
The journey takes several twists and turns accompanied by a series of incidents that pull Doug into the chaotic lives of others. He faces some tough emotional challenges alongside the harsh physical journey, a helpful reflection on the spiritual journey that Doug faces.
At pretty much his lowest point, when a major incident occurs, he has the right people around him to support, refocus, and ultimately bring him back to God, which finally brings him the release and relief that his soul needs.
The theme of God being on our case, always, never giving up on us, is a strong one and a lesson for us all. Sometimes through the people who He brings across our path, sometimes more subtly, through the evidence around us in the form and beauty of nature, where His greatness is so evident.
This is a good read, an engrossing story with a strong redemptive message.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, but was under no pressure to provide a favourable review.