Review: Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans
Written as a journal in novel form, Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans is the second in The Walk series. It’s not really necessary to have read the first one, however. The author is glad to fill the reader in.
Basically Alan Christofferson has set off on a quest of hope. Through a series of life-changing occurrences, he finds himself recovering from stab wounds in a Spokane hospital. All he wants to do is recover enough to walk to Key West, Florida, to forget the past and look for a reason to live, I guess.
A stranger appears in his hospital room and offers him a place to stay while he is recuperating. Her name is Angel. Honestly, it’s Angel. Since Alan is homeless with no prospects in sight, he agrees. As it turns out, Alan begins to learn about Angel’s background, and he in turn helps her.
The lack of subtlety and nuance in this book is pronounced. I believe what the author is broadly hinting at is that there are people in our lives willing to help out in the most trying times. For example, when he was able to get back on the road, Alan met Kailamai, a teenage runaway. It is soon revealed that she has had a horrendous childhood and been placed in a series of foster homes, some of which were inappropriate placements. Through all this turmoil she is somehow upbeat, independent and a good traveling companion. Alan of course eventually introduces her to Angel.
After Kailamai, Miles to Go becomes a travelogue about what not to miss at Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse mountain sculpture. He’s not too impressed by the sights or lack of sights in Wyoming. At this point the line between fiction and non-fiction becomes blurred, and the author has become Alan.
Miles to Go has some spurts of philosophy, good advice and humor, but the author can’t seem to decide on the focus. He’s walking towards a goal, hopefully meeting more good souls and fewer thugs. I wish him well, but I don’t think I’ll join him on the third leg of the trip. Florida is a long way.
I give the book 3 last walks.
Happy reading from Beverly!