I was lucky to get the chance to pre-read Shawn Smucker's new book, How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp and Other Tales from our 10,000 Mile Adventure. Having followed the trip via his blog, I was excited to see how he and his wife wrote it up in their book. The layout of the book was perfect, a chapter or two of Shawn's perspective and a chapter of Maile's perspective. It gave me a chance to see the experiences from both points of view. As I read, I recognized some sections from previous blog posts. It was like seeing an old friend again. Yet somehow it was new. Seeing the stories nestled within the pages of the novel and surrounded by the stories of other places they had been formed into puzzle pieces that became the larger picture of their adventure.
As I said on Amazon, Shawn has done it again! He takes you on the adventure with his family. You see the beauty of they places that they visited and the family drama along the way. You hear from both Shawn and Maile regularly which creates an entire picture of the experience. You genuinely feel like you are riding in the bus with them discovering the abandoned graveyard of slaves, the poverty and beauty of New Orleans, the majesty of the Southwest, the danger of Teton pass, and the life lessons along the way. They tell you their fears and their revelations. You see God prodding them to give up some things and pick up some new things. By the end of the novel, you feel that you have been on Willie, the big blue bus, with them for those 10,000 miles. And they are wonderful hosts!
We may not all get the chance to go on a 10,000 mile adventure, but Shawn and Maile graciously take us on theirs. They face their worst fears together and come out better people. They provide us proof that we can survive our worst fears. And finally they leave us encouraged to go out and find the adventures to which God is calling us.
So this holiday season, treat yourself or a friend or a co-worker or a family member to an adventure novel with a great family story and some beautiful scenery.