Richard Paul Evans, a New York Times bestselling author, felt the pressure of pleasing his fans with the fifth book in The Walk series, Walking on Water. Simon & Schuster released the highly anticipated book on May 6. Walking on Water is the continuation and conclusion of Alan Christoffersen’s story of heartache and healing.
The Walk series started out with Alan’s world crumbling apart. He lost his beloved wife after she had an accident with a horse. His partner at his ad agency betrayed him and he felt he had nothing to live for. Yet he promised his wife he would survive. He soon learned that surviving and actually living were two different things.
The entire Walk series focuses on Alan’s journey. While he deals with the loss of his wife and life as he knew it, seeking a reason to to keep going, he also takes a physical journey. He leaves what is left of his life behind and sets out on the road with a lofty goal of walking from Seattle to Key West. At the time that he started walking, he had no idea why he was really walking to that destination, other than it was the farthest point from where he was.
The cross-country walk became therapeutic for Alan. Walking gave him time to think, reflect and clear his mind. He also meet a variety of people along the way, some who taught him lessons on love and life, others who he touched.
All the while, there were less than a handful of people he kept in touch with. When his walk began in 2010, his relationship with his father was rather distant. Having lost his mother at a young age, neither he or his dad really knew how to deal with it or talk to each other about it. In the final book of the series, Walking on Water, there is a greater focus on the healing of their relationship. Alan gets a much greater understanding of his father and suddenly, the purpose of his walk makes complete sense.
Alan encountered several chances for love along the way as well. All the while he was hurting and missing his wife, but he still longed for the love of a woman. This internal struggle almost cost him the chance to have real love again. His story was never about forgetting his wife, but being able to come to terms with what happened and be able to live again without her.
Walking on Water is a critical piece in The Walk series because Alan finally comes to term with the loss he has experienced and puts the life he once knew behind him. He realizes that if he is able to let the heartache and pain go, he can finally accept the healing and love. Anyone who has ever lost someone close to them or had their life suddenly turned upside down can certainly relate to this character and his struggles. But Evans offers a story of hope through Alan’s journey. He shows that no matter what journey a person is on or what their destination may be, there may be something amazing waiting just around the next bend. All they need to do is keep walking.
By Tracy Rose