Monday, June 23, 2008
Don Locke's The Reluctant Journey of David Connors ~ Reviewed
The Reluctant Journey of David Connors
By Don Locke
Published by Navpress
On a cold winter night, David Connor contemplates a leap off a skyscraper hoping to end the pain of his crippling alienation from his family and his anger and resentment toward God. But his attention is strangely drawn to a nearby bundle half buried on the snowy ledge. David uncovers an old carpetbag that he soon learns possesses the unique ability to conjure up peculiar gifts for people he encounters – items that are exactly what they need.
One such stranger is the sweet but feisty Maggie, who gets swept up in the mystery as the miraculous carpetbag leads them both on an imaginative journey, challenging David’s heart as it illuminates their steps. David’s destination slowly unfolds like a distant bittersweet memory in this tender and often humorous tale of grace and redemption.
Things were just fine with David until Kathy, the love of his life, became born again. He went to church a few times with her, but he didn't like how he felt there and didn't go back. The marriage counselor told him he needed to get in touch with his feelings - he drank out of fear and to make himself numb. What did the counselor know anyway! That's what he thought then, but here he was out on this ledge despising God for this screwed up life. He was feeling too much now – he wanted it to stop. How could Kathy tell him that this temporary separation wasn't working – couldn't she see how miserable he was and all that he had done for her? It couldn't be over!!
After David found a carpetbag while out on the ledge, mysterious things started to happen. He suspected that the carpetbag was providing gifts people really needed. David decides to test this theory on Maggie, a relative stranger. As they both sit in a bar, David drank coffee to sober up - this bag had him spooked. Maggie and David get caught up in a series of unimaginable events and unforseeable journey.
David realizes that his waking hours are becoming more bazaar than his dreams. He expects Rod Serling to jump out any minute to tell him he has just entered the 5th dimension of his imagination called the "Twilight Zone". David knew that he and Maggie were definitely in a new dimension of life, one that had them questioning their sight, sound and their mind. Maggie turns to David and says "You better start believing in something pretty quick here - your running out of options." That's so true. Think, think, think...he didn't want to think! But, Maggie kept telling him he had to decide so that they could go back to life as normal. Only one problem...David wasn't sure normal existed anymore.
This is one gripping story. I just loved it. I was swept up in this great adventure and at the same time it made me think about the deeper meaning of life. It's definitely something both Maggie and David needed to find for themselves; it will make the reader think about their own life too. The author Don Locke is a freelance writer and illustrator by trade. I could see him taking his time setting the scene up for the reader . This story starts in a similar way the Twilight Zone shows were set up. Just when you are hooked into the story and you think you know where it's going, it stops and you enter the 'weird zone', as David calls it. The author is a master at doing this. There are many thrills and unexpected events along the way. I was amazed that this was Don Locke's first book. I'm extremely excited to see what he writes next, and you will too, after reading this unique, surprising adventure story.
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent