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Into the Canyon

Title:  Into the Canyon
Author:  Michael Neale
Pages:  304
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
As a very young man on an adventure with his father to a river, Gabriel develops a fear of water along with finding himself years later still coming to a place of acceptance that his father gave his life to save the life of two kayakers going over the falls.  Gabriel grew up away from water with his mother in Kansas, but finds himself back at the same river to conquer his fears as a young man.
At various points in the story I came across different characters that helped Gabriel come to terms with losing his dad along with conquering his fear of water.  Through outside characters, Gabriel learns that in letting go of his fear, he gains confidence, wisdom and friendships.  What was most intriguing was how Gabriel learns to enjoy life today along with the life experiences that end up changing him from the inside out.
While reading this I thought of the phrase “no man is an island”.  In other words, all of us need people to walk with us as we journey on earth.  I thought the novel points exceptionally well to the fact that in order to experience healing we must learn to walk through suffering.  The characters of the novel learned the reality of hope that their hearts gained as they faced their pasts honestly, and let the pain go, giving themselves over to a life that focused on others more than themselves.
The author shows us quite vividly how laying down our life for others touches more people than we ever thought possible.  Ultimately readers will gain the understanding that the sacrifice of Christ was for us and due to the deep love God has for us when we are perhaps in a place of not looking to Him.  The novel is a quick read and a thought-provoking story.  One aspect of the novel that touched me was how Gabriel and other characters remembered people in various ways because of the life they lived before others.  The book is an example of how fiction can touch our hearts, minds and lives, reminding us of what is important compared to what is not, and the cost of what we choose to do is to those we claim to love dearly.
My rating is 4 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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