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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Give Me A Story, Not A Sermon

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note: While this review will not contain spoilers for Miles to Go, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from The Walk. As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

After losing his wife, then his business, house, cars and all the other fancy trappings of his formerly successful life, Alan Christoffersen decides to outwalk his grief by hoofing it from his home near Seattle to the beach in Key West, Florida. He's made it to the outskirts of Spokane, Washington—only about 318 miles from home—when he's mugged by a group of teenage thugs. Too injured to resume his journey right away, Alan decides to hunker down in Spokane until he's recovered enough to resume his trek.

Alan's taken in by a kind stranger named Angel, who offers him room and board for as long as he needs it. Although the woman lives up to her name in every way, Alan becomes concerned about the dark depression that settles over her with disturbing frequency. After some strange encounters, Alan realizes how little he actually knows about Angel. It's clear she needs help, but are her problems too big for him to handle? Especially when he's still dealing with his own issues? As Alan tries to figure out what to do about Angel, he also has to make another decision: should he continue with his long walk or stay in Spokane with the people who are fast starting to feel like family.

Since The Walk by Richard Paul Evans failed to impress me, I didn't have a lot of hope for its sequel, Miles to Go. I figured the same things that bugged me about the former would probably bug me about the latter and I was right. Evans' writing was still more tell than show, more sap than substance. His characters remained flat, their relationships so underdeveloped they never felt real. Because of the mysterious Angel, the first half (or so) of the book at least had enough action to be somewhat interesting. Not so for the rest of the novel. All in all, I liked Miles to Go a teensy bit more than The Walk, but, truthfully, I really wasn't wild about either. I've said it before and I'll say it again, inspirational fiction is just not my genre. I want a story, not a sermon.

(Readalikes: The Walk by Richard Paul Evans)

Grade: C+

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG for mild language and some mature themes

To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find


  1. Thanks for the review.

    Also, I have an award for you. It's okay if you don't do awards, but I just wanted to let you know it is here...

  2. Oh you say things so much better than I!!! When my book group wants to read these I just smile and abstain. Thanks for putting my thoughts into words!

    Enjoy the spring.


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