Richard Paul Evans. Simon & Schuster, $22 (304pp) ISBN 978-1-4391-8731-9
Taking a page from The Odyssey, bestseller Evans (The Christmas Box) launches a new series of inspirational novels with a serious misstep. In the novel's outset, once-successful Seattle advertising executive Alan Christoffersen loses everything important to him: his beloved wife dies after being thrown by a horse, his business partner steals all their clients for himself, and lenders re-possess Alan's home and cars. Anchorless, Alan decides to take a walk to ""the furthest point reachable by foot,"" Key West, Fla., in search of new meaning. In short chapters, Evans covers the first 12 days of Alan's journey, taking him from Bellevue to Spokane, Washington; the journey is largely uneventful, filled in by details of Alan's meals at small-town diners and fast food joints. Lacking a sense of dynamics or immediacy, the first leg of Evans' epic is a contrived attempt at honest seeking.
Reviewed on: 04/05/2010