Introduction – Hiking Toward Heaven: As an Australian, I fell in love with the mountains and canyons of the southwest USA.
As a scientist, I have always been curious about the mystery of faith. Particularly, the interface between faith and science.
So I crafted a story about a scientist (the gray nomad) hiking with his grand-kids. Kara, the 12-year old princess. Also, meeting up with a mysterious stranger called Michelle, who adds a spiritual dimension. This may sound trite, but within this triangle the book uses incidents along the trails to explore in a novel way the powerful themes of love, grace, and forgiveness.
My readers tell me that on each hike they like the background information about the plants, animals, and geology of the southwest.
They also say the challenges (and yes, drama) of each hike keep the book moving at a good clip.
The most popular comment I receive is “I was intrigued because I could not tell what was true and what was not. Which makes a good story.”
The book is also about heaven. As one of the grand-kids Darby says, “I’ve got to ask you, what’s heaven like?” This leads to a picture of heaven that we can identify with, and one that is not inconsistent with the recent bestsellers about heaven: “Heaven is for Real” and “90 Minutes in Heaven”.
It’s a delightful story about heart-warming family interaction, set amidst the joys and difficulties of each hike. The ending will surprise, and it’s a powerful emotional conclusion.
If you like to hike, or just like the southwest USA, you may find the book fits perfectly into “The Land of Enchantment” on all New Mexico car plates. If in addition you are interested in how the mystery of faith is viewed through the wide-open eyes of children and the experienced eyes of a scientist, you are likely to find this book honest and compelling.