Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2-in-1 - The Walk by Richard Paul Evans and A Very Private Grave by Donna Fletcher Crow

1. The Walk by Richard Paul Evans.

The book's synopsis from the author's website:

The Walk: A Novel (Walk Series)This is the first book in The Walk series, a story about the physical and spiritual journey of Alan Christoffersen.
What would you do if you lost everything—your job, your home, and the love of your life—all at the same time? When it happens to Seattle ad executive Alan Christoffersen, he’s tempted by his darkest thoughts. A bottle of pills in his hand and nothing left to live for, he plans to end his misery. Instead, he decides to take a walk. But not any ordinary walk. Taking with him only the barest of essentials, Al leaves behind all that he’s known and heads for the farthest point on his map: Key West, Florida. The people he encounters along the way, and the lessons they share with him, will save his life—and inspire yours.
The Walk is my first experience with Mr. Evans. Because of all the hype and praise I encountered about this book and this author, I expected a lot from them both. Unfortunately, my expectations weren't all met. And I do realize that it's not all the book's fault. It was an inspiring story, in a way that it actually made me want to go for a long walk (not around the block kind of walk) again. Yes, I wrote 'again'. When I was seventeen, I went on a pilgrimage to a holy place in Poland. It lasted 15 days and we walked every day for about 30 miles. It's a huge event and hundreds of people so it annually from all over the country. I loved every minute of it, even though I had to put up my own tent and take it down and carry it on my back every day. I haven't experienced anything like it ever since. Therefore, I understood how Al's walk was what he needed to learn and heal. His experiences made me yearn for my own from years ago. And while I enjoyed the writing and the story, it just didn't affect me as an eye-opening experience nor did it play on my heartstrings, at least not as much as I expected it to. I liked The Walk, I just wasn't in love with it.

2. A Very Private Grave (Book one in The Monastery Murders) by Donna Fletcher Crow.

The book's synopsis from the author's website:

A Very Private Grave (The Monastery Murders)Felicity Howard, a young American studying for the Anglican priesthood at the College of the Transfiguration in Yorkshire, is devastated when she finds her beloved Father Dominic bludgeoned to death and Father Antony, her church history lecturer, soaked in his blood...
A Very Private Grave is a contemporary novel with a thoroughly modern heroine who must learn some ancient truths in order to solve the mystery and save her own life as she and Father Antony flee a murderer and follow clues that take them to out-of-the way sites in northern England and southern Scotland. The narrative skillfully mixes detection, intellectual puzzles, spiritual aspiration, romance, and the solving of clues ancient and modern.
This book I also just liked. There were parts of the story that just dragged on for way too long and kept the pace very slow. It's not necessary a good thing when it happens in a murder mystery book.  I did appreciate the interesting, if obscure to me, history of the Church in England but I think that Ms. Crow just presented some of it in a very dry, almost academic way that became unappealing to me and made me wonder if I should just give up on the book altogether. The reason I didn't, was that I was intrigued by the murder plot and I liked the investigative part. And even though it is categorized as a christian fiction, it's really a cozy mystery and can be read by people who normally don't go for the christian genre. I also liked Felicity, she is a very spunky young woman and because of her, I am looking forward to the next adventure and hoping that this one will have a little more action and less 'academic theory'. If you're interested in more about this book, you can read the first chapter here.

FTC Disclosure: I bought The Walk by Richard Paul Evans.

I received A Very Private Grave by Donna Fletcher Crow from FIRST.