Miles to Go (Walk Series #2)

Miles to Go (Walk Series #2)

by Richard Paul Evans

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Overview

From the author of The Walk and The Christmas Box, the inspiring New York Times bestseller about the journey of a heartbroken man who embarks on a walk across America.

Alan Christoffersen, a once-successful advertising executive, wakes one morning to find himself injured, alone, and confined to a hospital bed in Spokane, Washington. Sixteen days earlier, reeling from the sudden loss of his wife, his home, and his business, Alan left everything he knew behind and set off on the cross-country journey of a lifetime. But a vicious roadside stabbing has interrupted Alan’s trek and robbed him of his one source of solace: the ability to walk. Homeless and facing months of difficult recovery, Alan has nowhere to turn—until a mysterious woman enters his life and invites him into her home.

An astonishing tale of life and death, suffering and healing, love and second chances, Miles to Go picks up the story of The Walk, continuing this unforgettable bestselling series about one man’s unrelenting search for hope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476718637
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 06/04/2013
Series: Walk Series , #2
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 40,611
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Richard Paul Evans is the #1 bestselling author of The Christmas Box. Each of his more than thirty-five novels has been a New York Times bestseller. There are more than thirty-five million copies of his books in print worldwide, translated into more than twenty-four languages. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Mothers Book Award, the Romantic Times Best Women’s Novel of the Year Award, the German Audience Gold Award for Romance, five Religion Communicators Council Wilbur Awards, the Washington Times Humanitarian of the Century Award and the Volunteers of America National Empathy Award. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children. You can learn more about Richard on Facebook at Facebook.com/RPEFans, or visit his website RichardPaulEvans.com.

Hometown:

Salt Lake City, Utah

Date of Birth:

October 11, 1962

Place of Birth:

Salt Lake City, Utah

Education:

B.A., University of Utah, 1984

Read an Excerpt

Miles to Go
CHAPTER

Three

Somewhere between being stabbed and waking in the hospital, I had an experience that’s difficult to describe. Call it a dream or a vision, but McKale came to me. She told me that it wasn’t my time to die—that there were still people I was meant to meet. When I asked her who, she replied, “Angel.” Who is this woman?

Alan Christoffersen’s diary

The first time I woke in the hospital, there was a strange woman sitting in a chair next to my hospital bed. She was about my age and dressed casually, wearing a fitted T-shirt and jeans. When I could speak, I asked her who she was. She told me that we had met a few days earlier just outside the small town of Waterville. Her car had been stopped at the side of the road with a flat tire.

I recalled the encounter. She had tried to change the tire herself but had spilled the wheel’s lug nuts down the side of the incline into a deep gorge, leaving her stranded. I had taken a nut from each of the other tires and attached her spare.

She had offered me a ride to Spokane that I turned down. Just before she drove off, she gave me her business card, which (since I’d thrown my cell phone away on the first day of my walk) was the only contact information the police found on me. They called her and, inexplicably, she came. Her name was Annie, but she told me to call her Angel. “That’s what my friends call me,” she said.

She was with me when the doctor told me that I would need several weeks of convalescence at home.

“I’m homeless,” I said.

There was an awkward silence. Then Angel said, “He can come home with me.”

Since then she had come every day to see me, staying for about an hour each night, our conversation as stilted as two teenagers on a blind date. I wasn’t bothered that she came—I was lonely and appreciated the company—I just didn’t know why she came.

Tonight’s visit (angelic visitations, she called them) was later than usual. When I woke, she was looking down, reading a paperback Amish love story. As I looked at her, a song started playing in my head.

I’m on top of the world looking down on creation...

The tune, ironically cheerful, kept on playing, as annoyingly insistent as a scratched vinyl record. The melody was from a seventies song—something from my childhood. The Carpenters. My mother loved the Carpenters. She’d talk about Richard and Karen Carpenter like they were relatives.

Even as she was dying of cancer, she’d play their records. Especially when she was dying. She said their music kept her spirits up. As a kid, I knew the words to all their songs by heart. I still did. “Close to You,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “Hurting Each Other”; I remember tracing the Carpenters’ signature logo on typing paper, then trying to improve it, which was probably my first commercial graphic attempt.

My mother would play their albums on our walnutveneered, Zenith console stereo (a Plymouth-sized appliance which nearly took up the entire east wall of our living room), and their music would fill our home, which always made me feel peaceful because I knew it made my mother happy.

Angel was still engrossed in her book when I realized why the tune had come to mind. She looked like Karen Carpenter. Not exactly. She was blond and probably a little prettier, but close enough to warrant a second glance. I wondered if she could sing. As I was musing over the similarities, Angel suddenly looked up. She smiled when she saw me looking at her. “Hi.”

My mouth was parched and I ran my tongue over my lips before speaking. “Hi.”

“How are you feeling?”

“A little better than yesterday. How long have you been here?”

“About an hour.” Silence. Then she said, “You were talking in your sleep.”

“Did I say anything profound?”

“I think you were calling for someone ... McKay or McKale?”

I winced but offered no explanation.

“I talked to your nurse. She said that if your scan turns out well, you could leave in a few days. Maybe even Monday.” Her mouth twisted a little. “Halloween. Scary.”

“That would be nice,” I said.

After a moment she said, “My offer’s still open. You’re welcome to stay with me. I’ve already moved some things around in my apartment ...” then she added cautiously, “just in case.”

“That’s kind of you,” I said without commitment.

She looked at me apprehensively. Nearly a minute had passed when she asked, “What do you think?”

What did I think? I had spent the last few days considering the few options I had. After the destruction of my life, the only friend I had left was Falene, my former assistant, back in Seattle. In spite of our friendship, I couldn’t go back there.

My only other option was my father in Los Angeles. If I went to California, I knew I’d never come back. And I needed to come back. I needed to finish my walk.

For the first time since I’d left my home, I realized that my trek was more than just a physical commitment; it was a spiritual one—like the walkabouts of the Australian aborigines or the spirit walk of the Native Americans. Something I didn’t completely understand compelled me onward.

And, for whatever reason, this woman was part of my journey. There was some reason she was in my path and sitting by my bed. I just had no idea what that reason might be.

After a moment I said, “If it’s not too much trouble.”

Her lips rose in a slight smile and she nodded. “No trouble at all.”

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Miles to Go includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
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INTRODUCTION

In the second book in Richard Paul Evans’ The Walk series, former Seattle advertising executive Alan Christoffersen hits a detour on his cross-country trek. Facing months of recovery after a vicious roadside attack in Spokane, he encounters a mysterious woman, Angel, who offers him a place to stay. But before Alan can continue on with his own journey, he must first help Angel find her way.

TOPICS & QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

  1. At the beginning of Miles to Go, Alan explains: “I’m not trying to set any records or wind up in any newspapers.” (p. 12) Why does he undertake such a monumental journey as walking across the country? What does he hope to accomplish? If you were in Alan’s position, would you consider doing something similar?
  2. Alan and Angel are practically strangers when she invites him into her home for a several-month stay as he recuperates. Why does she take him in? Why does he accept her offer? In what ways are Angel and Alan alike?
  3. Being stabbed robs Alan of the thing that is most valuable to him: his ability to walk. Along with his physical wounds, how is he affected emotionally by the stabbing? What are the upsides to his unexpected delay in Spokane?
  4. Discuss the women in Alan’s life, both past and present—his mother, Falene, Angel, Kailamai. What can you tell about Alan by how he interacts with them? What do you learn about Adam from what he reveals of his relationship with McKale?
  5. When does Alan realize that Angel intends to commit suicide? How is he able to get through to her and change her mind about it? Why does Angel respond to Alan when she has made a concerted effort to shut everyone else out of her life?
  6. “Before my life imploded, I was, as one of my clients put it, ‘the poster child for the American dream,’” says Alan. “The universe switched the tracks beneath me and in just five weeks I lost it all.” (p. 12) Discuss Alan’s attitude about the hardships and heartbreak he has endured. Is he an inspirational character? Why or why not? What are your thoughts on the narrative style of the novel, which is told as Alan’s diary?
  7. On page 140, Alan says, “I didn’t know if my father had changed or if I’d just never seen this side of him. Probably both,” says Alan. Why didn’t Alan tell his father about the attack and stabbing? What does he come to realize about his father after their conversations in Spokane?
  8. What motivates Alan to confront four men to save Kailamai when he has only recently recovered from an assault? Why does he allow her to join him on his walk?
  9. What is Alan’s impression of Kailamai—and hers of him? Why do these two people, who on the surface appear to have little in common, quickly form a close relationship? Why does Nicole agree to take in Kailamai?
  10. Discuss Alan’s encounters with the unnamed advertising executive from Young & Rubicam and the gold prospector. What words of wisdom do these men share with Alan? How do they affect Alan’s thinking about his life and his journey?
  11. While traveling through Wyoming, Alan has a crisis of faith about whether or not he should continue his journey. Why does he start to doubt himself? Why does he ultimately decide to keep going?
  12. Why does the story about the creation of the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota strike such a chord with Alan? In what ways does he relate to artist Korczak Ziolkowski?
  13. For those who have read The Walk, the first book about Alan Christoffersen, how do you think it compares to Miles to Go? If you haven’t read it, are you interested in doing so? Why or why not? Share whether or not you’d like to continue with Alan on his journey in future books.

ENHANCE YOUR BOOK CLUB

  1. Lace up your walking shoes. Before your group talks about Miles to Go, take a stroll of a mile or more to get a better sense of the magnitude of Alan’s ambitious undertaking.
  2. In honor of Angel’s “coming out party,” prepare a Thanksgiving-style feast with all the trimmings. Before you dine, have members each share one thing for which they’re grateful—aside from your book club, of course.
  3. Pair your discussion of Miles to Go with a movie. Like Alan and Angel do in the book, make a selection from the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest Movies. Some of the ones they watch together are American Graffiti, City Lights, and M*A*S*H. Don’t forget the popcorn.

  1. Like Norma does for Alan in his hospital room, hang up pictures of Key West while you discuss Miles to Go.

Customer Reviews

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Miles to Go 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 190 reviews.
Karen_from_NC More than 1 year ago
"You don't know me," but I am the amazingly privileged person to whom this book, Miles to Go, is dedicated. I never in a million years expected to have any book dedicated to me, much less one as good at this, but Richard has honored me and my family in so many ways. First by deciding to use my sweetheart's name as his main character in this series, and also by weaving a story so poignant, and so tender, that thousands, even hundreds of thousands of readers cannot wait for the next book. I have read Miles to Go and I can tell you that it is a book you will not put down until it is finished. It is a book that can change how you look at life, and show you how to make your life better. Nearly every page says something to me that is so profound I want to take notes, write a sentence down and put it on my fridge so I can be reminded of it every day. Yes, it is a sad story, a painful one, but so infused with hope that the feeling is tangible. We need hope. Perhaps this is why Richard's books are so popular. Hope. You will find it and so much more in Miles to Go. I can safely say that the real Alan Christoffersen would have loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plans often get interrupted...instead of frustration, learn from the interruption, help others in the midst of your interruption, don't just fling people aside and claim you are too busy...also allow people to help you when life becomes too burdensome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book has a good story to it, however, it is a bit too repetitive trying to allow the reader to remember what has already happened in the story. I have also read the first book in the series and do plan to read the last book in the series. It is a relaxing read.
Betts44 More than 1 year ago
After I read the first book in the series I couldn't wait to read the second one. I had the same reaction to this one, so went to the third one as soon as possible. On the surface this did not appear to be a journey I would take, but as I read on my own journey became clearer. The parts that continue to resonate with me were the inner workings in the characters portrayed; not the outer circumstances. All the books have given me insight into how I should treat people I meet. That would be all people as well as the people closest to me. The importance of being in the now is also stressed; the need to stop, look, and listen to those around us. I continue to be surprised at all the parallels to my own life and journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Book. Just Ready for the next one.
Jeanette Fortenberry More than 1 year ago
Richard Paul Evans is an excellent author weaving beautiful feel good stories with real life characters. This is one of my favorites of his.
DGlad More than 1 year ago
Miles to Go did not disappoint me starting with the beautiful cover! I loved being on this fun, emotional and exciting journey with Alan. I am glad there are more books to come in The Walk series. Another one of Richard Paul Evan's finest writings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is unlike any of my books I’ve read. It was an easy read, and had many thought-provoking events. It helps to show there are still many kind humans in the world. Many decisions we make in our lives are meant to be. We are on this earth for a purpose. It sometimes takes a long journey to find out what that purpose is.
bohemiangirl35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book two in a series about a guy walking cross country after the death of his wife and loss of his business and house. Alan Christofferson gets stabbed and after leaving the hospital recovers in the home of a woman whom he had helped earlier the day he was stabbed. The beginning reminded me of Stephen King's Misery, but it changed into something different. Alan is a tortured soul travelling and saving others along the way.Nothing super compelling for me. Just okay.
bdouglas97 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the second in the series. It, like all of R,P Evans books, is an easy and fast read. I kept thinking, though, if he only gets this far for each book, how many book will it take for him to get to Key West?
bitsy08 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a nice story and so glad it will continue. He's left us hanging and sorry that it will be another year before it we can find out the answer. This book is just a nice read. Enjoyed it thoroughly.
loubigfish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting and thought worthy, yet a little slow at times and I now have to wait a year before I know what else transpires....
LovetoreadDR More than 1 year ago
This second in "The Walk" series is great. I highly recommend you read them in order from start to finish. Evans is an amazing story teller-you are walking with him. Reading them for the second time aloud to some folks at the nursing home and they are really enjoying them too.
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Im back!
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