Told in the first person by the protagonist, Alan Christoffersen, it is the story of a successful young man who loses everything. He was a successful ad man in Seattle. He marries his childhood sweetheart. But they overspend, making a big lifestyle, and they are deeply in debt. His ad agency partner is secretly stealing his agency. Then his wife has a fall from her horse, and after an agonizing month, dies. During that time of her recovery, he neglects the agency, and when she dies and he goes back, he finds the partner has stolen everything, even the furniture. His cars are repossessed, and the bank forecloses on his house.
After this tear jerking beginning, he decides to walk away from everything. He dumps the work of selling off his personal belongings and dealing with the creditors on his assistant, and takes off for Key West. Lucky him, he ends up with $27,000 in his bank account. And off he goes with a backpack and a tent.
The Walk is a look at mourning, despair and repair. It is Love Story meets Travels With Charley (without the dog or car). It is about the people he meets and the things he sees, and a rather inordinate emphasis on what he eats at every meal. It offers some pithy moralizing
We can deny reality, but we can´t deny the consequences of denying reality.
and Old Sage advice
We can be victims or circumstance or master of our own fate, but make no mistake, we cannot be both.
A pleasant read, a little too … oh, what is the word I want … feel-good without the feeling good part. Suggesting that we can restore ourselves by dumping our obligations on to someone else and then just walking away from everything is irresponsible advice, to my way of thinking. By the time we have hit our thirties or forties we have all suffered losses, big and small, and failures, big and small. Few of us can be fortunate enough to have lived that long unscathed. But we are still here coping. That’s what a grownup does. Cope. Deal. Come through it out the other side. Not dump your
sh*t troubles on someone else and walk away.
There are several more volumes in the series. This one ends before he even reaches Spokane. I think I will let him carry on to Florida without me.