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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2005
Availability: In Stock
From the author of Blue Like Jazz comes a road-trip memoir about three months spent crossing the country in a Volkswagen camping van, wondering out-loud if there is more to life than nine-to-five jobs, than the ruts the entire world seems to be stuck in. Follow Don and Paul as they dive headlong into the deepest of human questions and find answers outside wordsâ·answers that have to be experienced to be believed.
Day 1: "Trips like ours are greener grass left unknown for fear of believing trite sayings; sayings that are sometimes true. But our friends back home live an existence under the weight and awareness of times; a place we are slowly escaping; a world growing fainter by the hour and the mile."
Day 13: "It feels again that we are leaving who we were, moving on into the people we will become, hopefully, people with some kind of answers, some kind of thing to believe tht makes sense of beauty, of romance. Something that would explain the red glow against Paul's face, the red glow that seems to be coming off the console . . . 'Did you notice the engine light is lit, bud?' I ask . . ."
Day 83: "I sit in the van, waiting for her to come out when I notice a window in one of the classrooms open, and a backpack comes falling out, spilling a few books onto the lawn. After the backpack comes Elida, falling atop the pack and laying low, peeking back into the window to see if the teacher noticed. She gathers her books, reaches into the classroom and closes the window, then runs toward the van as though this were a prison break."
As you read Through Painted Deserts, you'll soon realize this is not just one man's account of finding light, God, and beauty on the open road. Rather, this book maps the journey you're already traveling . . . or soon will be.
Miller uses a first-person narrative form that creates a personal relationship between the reader and himself. He uses short chapters to move the events swiftly and smoothly, however, at times his descriptions are excessive and slow the dialogue. By using the differences between the characters, he creates a humorous relationship, wherein each character brings out the other's strengths. This increases the quality of the dialogue and makes it enjoyable.
Don was never taken seriously--he always joked with friends and strangers at the best and worst times. To him, jobs were more of a concept than a practice. He was also attached to earthly things. He longed to buy all he wanted, even though he never needed it. Houses, boats, and cars all held a special place in his heart. It is ironic how this materialistic house-dweller became best friends with an outdoorsman, who would rather sleep on dirt than a bed of silk. Their relationship was unlikely, but it grew strong. Their differences accentuated each other and brought out the best in one another.
The two improbable best friends set out to travel the country to escape the noise and hustle in Houston. They had no set plan for their trip, except to see the Grand Canyon. Paul had convinced Don to camp at the bottom of the canyon. It was a feat they both conquered with great pride. Throughout the story, the most powerful faith lesson comes from their ancient Volkswagen van. Don and Paul had to constantly keep their faith in God that He would provide for them when the van would give out and all hope seemed lost.
After the Grand Canyon, they traveled to see a friend in California for a night, and then to see some friends in Oregon for a week. After being on the road for so long, they realized they needed to find jobs. Paul called a ranch that he had worked at once before. Since they had no money at the time, they lived in the woods with only a tent, two sleeping bags, and a few personal items. They relied on God to provide food and showers for them daily. Every night, they were able to look at the stars in wonder. It was then that Don realized that he did not need a big house, a nice car, or a boat to satisfy his needs. All he needed was a bowl of cereal and a view of God's sunrise to keep him happy.
This book mirrors what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25, Therefore, I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, or what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? We all are like Don at some point in our lives. We see what we want, and we believe we need it. However, Through Painted Deserts will challenge readers to depend on God to provide for all needs and experience contentment in all things. This book is beneficial for any teenager or adult who wants to see God's giving grace. -- Angela George, Christian Book Previews.com
Wes5 Stars Out Of 5July 28, 2006WesGreat book of adventure. Warning: You may have thoughts of hiking the Grand Canyon, sleeping in a van, and playing "night golf." A great read from a great author.
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