Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail
Author: Paul V. Stutzman
Publisher: Synergy Books
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Synopsis: (from publisher)
After losing his wife to breast cancer, Paul Stutzman decided to make some big changes. He quit his job of seventeen years and embarked upon a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,176-mile stretch of varying terrain spanning fourteen states. During his nearly five-month-long hike, he battled brutal trail conditions and overwhelming loneliness, but also enjoyed spectacular scenery and trail camaraderie. With breathtaking descriptions and humorous anecdotes from his travels, Stutzman reveals how immersing himself in nature and befriending fellow hikers helped him recover from a devastating loss. Somewhere between Georgia and Maine, he realized that God had been with him every step of the way, and on a famous path through the wilderness, he found his own path to peace and freedom.
This is not the first book I've found about hiking the Appalachian Trail, nor will it be the last. What makes this book different is the message and the reason behind it. When Mr. Stutzman's wife died, he realized that all he worked for was nothing compared to what he lost with his wife. The importance was spending time with your loved ones, and live each day like it's your last with them. He took that message along with him on his 5 month trip on the Appalachian Trail.
Mr. Stutzman writes his adventures with both humor and truthfulness. He examines his relationship with God and finds that the longer he is on the trail, the more his relationship with God changes. He tells about triumphs and hardships along the way, and leaves you nothing but amazed and in awe by the end.
To say this is a fantastic book, is an understatement. Mr. Stutzman's message is quite personal to me, as I realized how we put things off when my parents died. Going through things and seeing items that were kept for that special someday that never came, brings a harsh reality that we shouldn't wait for tomorrow, but enjoy what we have today. For this reason alone, I had wanted to participate in this tour, but I found that the book held so much more. It's about regrets, love, healing, forgiveness, and finding peace and freedom. It will tug at your heart and make you laugh and cry, and you will be cheering Mr. Stutzman along throughout the book.
Do yourself a huge favor and read this book. It will definitely change how you look at yourself and your loved ones. It has a powerful message that everyone should hear!
About the author:
Paul V. Stutzman left a restaurant management career to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2008, after losing his wife to breast cancer. He tells the story of chasing his dream from Georgia to Maine in his new book, Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail. See photos from his hike on his website, www.hikingthrough.com.
This book was sent to me by Dorothy of Pump Up Your Book for me to honestly review.