In short, whether you need answers, or you just need a good read and a good laugh, this book will do the trick. On a scale of 1 to 5 hikers, I would give this one a 6.
After suffering the loss of his wife to cancer, Paul Stutzman gave up his career in the restaurant business to pursue a longtime dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail. In his book, “Hiking Through”, the reader will not only accompany him on his physical journey, but on his spiritual journey as well.
This book has appeal for different types of readers on different levels. For those who dream of hiking the trail ( or those who already have), for lovers of the outdoors, people who seek adventure if only from the safety of their armchair, this is the perfect book. For those who have lost someone and find it difficult to heal, this book will speak to them. And for those who have ever questioned, “Why, God?” in any situation, this book will be helpful to them, as well.
I try to write book reviews from an impersonal view, but it would be impossible for me to do so this time. For a long time, I have been fascinated with the AT, but for health reasons, will probably never make the trip. So, I lived vicariously through his experiences. His Mennonite background was interesting to me, as he is from “Amish Country” in Ohio, and I have traveled there on various occasions. And, like I suppose everyone, I have sometimes looked at situations and wished for answers that didn’t seem to come.
His story, while at times so emotional and personal, is laced with humor. Just when you feel that you’re going to have to reach for a Kleenex, he relates an experience that causes you to laugh out loud. The chapter in which he discusses his religious background was one of my favorites. The debate over whether or not to have a television in the house was topped only by the car radio anecdote.
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