In a similar vein to The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews or Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory, The Baggage Handler is a contemporary story that explores one question: What baggage are you carrying?
“The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings is an extraordinary novel that lingered in my heart long after I finished it.”—Colleen Coble, USA Today bestselling author of The House at Saltwater Point and the Lavender Tide series
When three people take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, their lives change forever.
A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job.
A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister's house before her niece’s wedding.
And a young artist pursuing his father’s dream so he can keep his own alive.
When David, Gillian, and Michael each take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave.
In this modern-day parable about the burdens that weigh us down, David Rawlings issues an inspiring invitation to lighten the load.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father of three who loves humor and a clever turn of phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.
Website: www.davidrawlings.com.au; Facebook: David Rawlings – Author; Instagram: davidrawlingsauthor.
Read an Excerpt
The sense of dread that began with Becky's email pressed Gillian Short deep into her seat as passengers filed past her down the aisle, a line of eye-rubbing yawns and bouncing impatience.
Gillian lifted the clasp on her still-tight seat belt. Her next moves should be simple: stand up, grab her carryall from the overhead bin, and start her trip. That's what everyone else was doing with ease.
But they weren't spending five days with her sister.
A young mother leaned across the aisle as she slid her sleeping infant into the sling across her chest. "Are you okay?"
Gillian adjusted her glasses and sighed. The answer bounced around inside her head. No. I'd rather be anywhere but here. But the words wouldn't come out. What sort of person wasn't excited about a family wedding?
The young mother slung a bag over her shoulder and grabbed the hand of her patient toddler.
Gillian's impolite silence filled the space where an answer should have gone. She changed the subject — a tried-and-true reflex.
"You have beautiful children. Do you need any help?"
"No, but thanks for offering. Have a great day." She grabbed a tiny backpack with her free hand and took her brood down the aisle.
Gillian shook her head in amazement. I wish I was a mom like that. When the boys were young, just wrangling them into high chairs seemed to require military precision and a week's worth of planning. Flying them anywhere would have been out of the question. Perhaps it was even now. Sure, the boys were older, but just thinking about the havoc they could wreak brought out a cold sweat.
The ratchet in her stomach clicked tighter.
Gillian pulled out her phone. Becky hadn't texted — yet. The siren song of Facebook, a song she could never deny, called to her. A flood of wonderful achievements flew past as she thumbed through holiday photos from afar and quotes designed to inspire her to greatness, ironic hashtags and political insights into how to fix a broken world, and photos of smiling families doing life together. The best of everyone. Facebook asked what was on her mind, a question she never answered with complete truth. Had a great flight, now here for the wedding! Gonna have an amazing time! The self-loathing washed over her the second her finger posted this sculpted thought into life.
The cabin was empty of people and full of stale air. She was stalling. Gillian sighed hard and stood.
After being summoned by her sister's email, she had made it. You simply have to be here for your niece's wedding. Jessica is the first grandchild to marry, the whole family is coming, and goodness knows you haven't seen most of them in a while.
It had been a whirlwind few days, arranging her husband so the boys could cope without Mom for three days and filling the freezer so they wouldn't starve.
She reached into the overhead bin for her large, floral carryall, and the ratchet in her stomach gripped her again. It had tightened the closer she got to her old hometown, and the turbulence hadn't helped. Some time away from the madhouse at home should have brought peace and some relief. Time to step outside an unrelenting schedule to keep up. Time to breathe. Time to enjoy the celebration and the closeness of family. But the whisper arose again in her ear. It had begun with Becky's email and persisted ever since.
You just need to get through it.CHAPTER 2
David Hawke sprinted to the heart of baggage claim, nestled under a web of steel spokes and polished metal. He skidded into a wall of bodies and chatter as five planes' worth of passengers crowded the baggage carousels.
David swore under his ragged breath. He wasn't in the mood for people getting in his way. Not after what happened last night.
He dodged through the crowd as he scanned each carousel for his flight number. Then, at the carousel farthest from the exit, the screen fizzed and crackled, and his flight number appeared above the static, black belt.
David swept away the beading sweat from his brow. He couldn't face the board as anything but cool. At least he'd have a chauffeured ride to the showdown meeting, his thoughts given clean air to run through the presentation that would show the board just how wrong they were. And the minibar would give him courage. He had given Sisyphus Financial his heart and soul for the last ten years. What more did they want?
His phone was silent. Nothing from Sharon. How could she misunderstand his ultimatum? You need to promise me it's really over.
Sharon was silent then and silent now.
David thumbed through his phone, looking for a text with the details for his arrival. His thumb came up empty. Twelve months ago the board had rolled out the red carpet: a limousine and a full minibar for the most profitable branch manager in the country. He winced. The last twelve months had been tough for business. They'd been tough for a lot of things.
His thumb hovered over a family photo from a happier time, the day Caitlin got her Elsa dress and his small family's obsession with Frozen began. Sharon was smiling — he could carbon-date the picture from that fact alone — but Caitlin was beaming. David's heart still seemed to swell when he thought of how happy he'd made his daughter that day. He'd hunted all over the city for the smallest dress size to turn his own princess into Disney royalty.
The more-familiar hammer beat of stress took over as the reason for his trip shadowed across that happy thought from another time. If he lost his job, Caitlin's smile would fade. How could he let that happen to his six-year-old daughter?
A line of twelve suited men stood in the distance, their jaunty chauffeur's hats perched above a row of gleaming white cards held at their chests. Which one is mine? Probably the big guy with the gleaming white smile.
The carousel, a winding, slumbering beast in black and silver, defied him. Behind the walls engines roared and tires squealed with the internal traffic of an airport. The other carousels were a hive of busyness too. Everyone but him got their suitcases and a release to start their day.
A throat politely cleared behind him. "Excuse me, sir?"
David glanced over his shoulder. A young man in a navy-blue cap and overalls leaned on a gleaming silver baggage cart. A white badge branded one breast: Baggage Services.
The young man tipped his cap and thick black curly hair threatened to burst free. He rose on the balls of his feet. "I'm the Baggage Handler. Do you need some help with your baggage?"
A stroke of luck. For the first time in a while.
David spun to face him. "Actually, buddy, I need to get out of here in a hurry, so if you could make my suitcase appear, that would be ideal."
The Baggage Handler smiled. "I'm afraid I can't make it appear, sir. But I am available to help you with your baggage when you're ready." His deep-blue eyes sparkled above a kind smile.
The nerves again launched a fresh assault on David. What was the holdup with his suitcase? He needed his sales reports to have any chance of keeping his job. Why couldn't the airline just do their job?
The Baggage Handler again rose on the balls of his feet. "The minute you want any help, you just let me know." He pushed his cart to the other end of the carousel.
What a strange guy.
The crowd swelled around him as the passengers from his flight meandered over, eroding his advantage and negating his sprint from the plane. David huffed and reached into his pocket for another antacid. The indigestion was getting worse, an obvious symptom of fighting to save his future and preparing to justify his existence before a board of twelve uninterested men whose concern for him stopped at his ability to make them money.
At least that was David's self-diagnosis of indigestion, with the help of Dr. Google.
A woman sidled next to him and, sweating, hefted a large, floral carryall over her shoulder. She looked like she wanted to be anywhere but there. A kindred spirit.
David leaned across to her. "A good flight?"
The woman replied only with a pasted smile to shut down the conversation. David was used to that smile. Sharon had perfected it in the past few months.
The carousel shuddered once, and David swung back to the gaps in the heavy rubber flaps. Vague shapes moved between them, and the sound of brakes slipped out, a curling finger of enticement to his impatience.
The carousel moved at an arthritic, glacial speed. A baggage sticker — stuck to the belt for all eternity — moved past him on a mesmerizing crawl and bent around a corner out of sight. Still his baggage remained a prisoner in the bowels of the airport.
* * *
Gillian's phone beeped with a text, and in an instant, she became an observer in her own life.
I'm walking in. Will be there in a minute to carry your bag.
Becky, always the protective older sister. A superhero with a cape.
A squeal burst over her shoulder, and she turned to see a young woman throw herself into the arms of a young man carrying a huge bouquet.
I wish Rick would meet me like that.
Her phone rang in her hand, and Becky's voice somehow sounded in her ear before she even answered the call. "Gilly, I'm at baggage claim. Where are you?"
Her big sister teetered on her tiptoes three carousels away, searching the crowded baggage area. Then she waved in recognition and rushed over, shoving her way through the throng.
"I'm so happy you made it." Becky held Gillian by the shoulders. "Let me see you."
Gillian didn't want to be seen. Her gaze hit the floor as she once again stood in the shadow of her sister — a tall frame wrapped in a pencil dress, perfection from styled blond hair to painted toenails poking through Dolce & Gabbana open-toed shoes. She squirmed under the inspection, acutely aware of hair that was the victim of a predawn start, makeup still in her suitcase, and bags under eyes that wouldn't have been out of place on the carousel.
"How are you?" Becky enveloped Gillian in a powerful hug. "A silly question to ask. I know you had a great flight. I've got to drop off my designs for the floral arrangements for our rehearsal dinner, so I'll drop you home and then do that. I've booked Marcellinas for lunch, so we can catch up. It's been a while. Anyway, much turbulence? You got to the airport okay?"
As always, Becky jumped from topic to topic like a Jeopardy contestant on an espresso bender. She disengaged with a jolt.
"Anyway, it's terrific to have you here. I'm so thrilled you could come. It's been too long, and it will be a great week, and we're all so excited about Jessica's wedding. She is the first grandchild to get married."
So it began. Five days of Becky not only gushing like a fire hose about her life, but also about how much better she was at life than Gillian was.
"Where's your bag, then?" Becky looked over the heads crowding the carousel. Through a heady waft of Chanel, Gillian focused on a hot-pink button on Becky's shoulder, which was at Gillian's eye level: "Mother of the Bride. This is my day too."
Her big sister elbowed her way through the crowd, shoving aside a young man, and then perching, vulture-like, over the carousel.
It was going to be a long few days.
* * *
Michael Downer picked himself up from the cold, buffed floor as his stomach, ignored on a morning flight that required a small loan to buy air-dried fresh sandwiches or ten-dollar breakfast bars, rumbled. His father had paid for this flight and given him cab fare to and from the university, plus thirty dollars to buy a Clarendon University sweatshirt so he could impress the coach. But nothing more.
The trip was the next step in a plan for Michael's life that he had no say in. Yet this was his single chance for college — an opportunity for a track scholarship at Clarendon University and the reason he'd flown in a hoodie and track pants rather than in his more comfortable jeans and cherished Jackson Pollock T-shirt. But the scholarship would keep open a door to his dream of studying art, the only way he could keep his dream alive and his father happy. Two uncomfortable bedfellows.
Michael's body and spirit had been created in two different workshops. His seventeen-year-old lithe frame was built for running, but his spirit soared with sketching pencils in hand. Yet his father saw only one side of him, and that was why he was here to meet the great Coach Crosswell. A track scholarship was part of the plan to become an Olympian and "make it." Whatever that meant.
He didn't know what was worse — getting a scholarship that would push him down a path he didn't want or missing out and getting a life sentence working in hardware. The latter would mean downshifting his passion to a hobby and selling it for next-to-nothing on eBay, in between shifts of stocking shelves with things he cared little about. A "real" job. Soul-dissolving, but "real." And with his father as a boss.
Still, this was his best — maybe only — chance. If he could get the track scholarship, art would become his major. That was the only way to shoehorn his artistic dream into his father's vision of sporting glory. He was sure he wouldn't be good enough for an art scholarship, despite the confidence of his art teachers.
Michael, you're a talented artist. You need to believe in yourself.
Michael, you were born with a special gift, and your best will be more than good enough.
But the ever-present thought lurking in the shadows of his mind lurched forward and gripped him. No, it won't be. My best won't be good enough.
Michael batted it away, but it left its numbing residue on him as it had for years.
There was no escaping it; his father would never approve his studying art, which would lead, in his words, nowhere.
He had one chance.
The road to being an artist ran through Coach Crosswell at Clarendon University. He would meet the man whose name his father dropped almost constantly and run a great time to impress him. And then he would sneak away from the track to see the art school. His art teacher had emailed some samples to a friend — who also happened to be an associate art professor at Clarendon — and encouraged Michael to drop in. The school was just behind the athletics facilities anyway.
One chance.CHAPTER 3
The carousel creaked on. Still empty.
Three chauffeur-hatted drivers remained at the terminal exit. One had to be for David; he just couldn't read the cards from his place at the carousel.
The stuck baggage sticker snuck out from under the heavy rubber flap and greeted him on its second, agonizingly slow lap.
Stress caught his chest in its viselike grip. His heart pounded inside its restrictive cage, a now-familiar lilting, unbalanced cadence. His ears rang and his jaw clenched, as it was doing more and more. He reached for another antacid.
The heavy rubber flaps of the carousel lifted, and a black suitcase peeked out and leaped forward into the spotlight.
David rubbed his hands together and leaned across the suitcase. Gold frequent flyer baggage tags, not his proud red alumni livery. He cursed under his breath.
A second bag emerged and then a third. Each was black. Each badged as a priority. Neither belonged to David. The knots in his jaw flexed as he ground his teeth.
Suitcases emerged into the light. Black, black, black, gray, black, black, silver. David could feel his blood pressure sizzle and spit as each one passed. The baggage sticker started its third lap. Stuck to the carousel. Just like him.
A familiar black suitcase with a flash of red around the handle pried apart the carousel's heavy flaps. David scanned the terrain as he swung the suitcase from the carousel. More planes had emptied their passengers into baggage claim, and his path to the exit was now blocked.
He plowed his way through the throng. Only one suited driver was left. That has to be my guy.
David thumbed through his phone again as he charged through the crowd. Still nothing from Sharon. How hard was it to promise it was over? The evidence on her phone flashed red in his memory. His cheeks flushed —
David had tripped over an empty baggage cart. As his suitcase skidded across the polished floor, he staggered, arms windmilling, into a tour group. Their guide broke his fall, which started a round of staccato jabbering in some foreign language. Pain shot through his shin, and David added some choice adjectives from his own language as he picked himself up and brushed off his suit. The tour group stood back, their phones raised to capture their first taste of this new culture.
The same young man in the Baggage Services uniform offered a simple smile. "I'm so sorry, sir." He tipped his cap, and black curly hair threatened to spring free. "We all should watch where we're heading. May I help with your baggage?"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Baggage Handler"
Copyright © 2019 David Rawlings.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found myself doing some real introspection as I read this modern day parable. The author has taken three travelers that clearly are carrying baggage that doesn't belong to them or shall we say, appears to be incorrectly assigned. Are you trying to live out someone else's dream, or is it really your own? Perhaps by not always looking for more, enjoyment and love will grow for the people and life we have already been given. Removing the wrong bag from the baggage carousel of life will possibly send you down a path that is not preferred. Are you ready for the results? I received an ARC through CelebrateLit. All impressions and opinions are my own.
Everyone has baggage right? Oh yes, do we ever. But how many of us would truly accept help getting rid of it? Gillian, the dejected, lesser, little sister. Certain the proverbial grass is greener where her successful sister lives. Baggage. Michael, the student athlete living his life to fulfill someone else’s never-achieved-dream. But it’s not the track he wants to feel under his feet; it’s the wood of a paint brush in his fingers he burns for. Baggage. David, an over-worked businessman, poised to lose everything, angry, embittered, and unable to forgive betrayals. Baggage. These three individuals know nothing of the other, but their identical baggage gets mixed up together. They each have to go retrieve their bags. Enter the Baggage Handler. This book had me highlighting sentences, even whole paragraphs. It is that good. It is THAT stirring. David Rawlings’ The Baggage Handler had me weeping. Soul searching. Cheering. Inspired. The Baggage Handler to Michael, “When you hand your baggage to me, it’s a conscious act of your will to hand it over, and then” - he framed the room with his hands - “this is the most important part: when you give it to me, you need to let go of it.” ” Tell me that wouldn’t be one of the greatest gifts ever, for so many of us? I am grateful to have received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in my review are my very own.
A very quick read, that once I started I was finished in one setting. You will soon feel like you have stepped into another dimension, a bit like the twilight Zone. I could see this book quickly continuing with sequels, there are lots of hurting people out there. Will the three chosen individuals here have life changes? Surprises are seen as we continue with the stories, and we wonder what is going to happen, and as with real life, not always as we hope. This one is going to make you think, could this, be you? I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not requir
The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings is good in so many ways. First, I found the story addictive, not wanting to put it down. It was easy to read even as it jumped around between the stories of David, Gillian, and Michael. Second, I could identify with parts of each character's struggle. I saw a bit of myself in each of them. Lastly, it was emotionally potent for me as I have some emotional baggage. Don't be surprised if The Baggage Handler makes you cry. I sure did. I recommend The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings to readers who enjoy inspirational fiction. It's as short, but powerful book. If I described it in one word, it would be: moving. It is not a blatantly Christian book, but there are clear parallels between The Baggage Handler and Jesus, if you are a Christian and chose to take it that way.
The Baggage Handler David Rawlings Description: When three people take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, their lives change forever. A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job. A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister's house before her niece’s wedding. And a young artist pursuing his father’s dream so he can keep his own alive. When David, Gillian, and Michael each take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave. In this modern-day parable about the burdens that weigh us down, David Rawlings issues an inspiring invitation to lighten the load. Very much enjoyed the book. Made me question my own baggage. Life can lift you up or weigh you down. A great message in the book for everyone. From the beginning, I was engaged.
The Baggage Handler is about three travelers who all accidentally pick up the wrong bag at the baggage carousel of an airport. They don't realize it until they each get to their destinations. There's David, a stressed-out businessman who needs his financial reports for a critical presentation that will decide whether his branch closes or not. Next is Gillian, who needs the clothes she's packed for five days with her sister's family for her niece's wedding and she anticipates it will be stressful. Finally, we have Michael, who needs the running spikes he's packed so that he can work toward getting a scholarship to a college. Each of the three is sent to a strange building so they can have their baggage sorted out but find it's not going to be a simple situation. The puzzling baggage handler is there to help them sort out their real life baggage. The businessman, David cannot forgive his cheating wife, Gillian feels like she doesn't compare to the sister she believes is perfect, and Michael would rather be an artist than be the athlete his father wants him to be. Each of them has to make a choice before they can leave the strange building they are in. Do they work through their "baggage" or do they continue to carry it around with them? The Baggage Handler is fiction to enjoy, and it reminds us that we all have baggage, and how we perceive that baggage is what matters. This is such a thought provoking and original read that gave me a lot of food for thought. I truly appreciate that BookLookBloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to read in exchange for my personal and honest opinion and unbiased review.
The Baggage Handler was a book by a new author for me. It was wonderful. I was intrigued by the back cover and the book itself did not disappoint. I loved the character development, the particular phrases the author used to get his point across, and how it mirrored real life. It definitely was a book that made me think long after I turned the last page … so much so I’m still thinking about the message and its implications and I read the book over two weeks ago. This was a wonderful book I would definitely recommend others read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are exclusively mine.
Review I really enjoyed this story. It was a bit different from normal. These people were on a plane and each had the same type of luggage. They each have problems and take the wrong luggage off the carousel. They then call the airport to get their luggage back and are sent to a warehouse where they meet the Baggage Handler. This man tries to get these people to understand all the baggage that they carry around each day and how to get rid of it. This was well written and enjoyable. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will. (less)
The Baggage Handler is a cleverly written analogy about all of the “baggage” we carry around whether we realize it or not. It is a short, thought provoking book that stayed with me long after I finished it. Author David Rawlings has written a unique book with this one. We meet Gillian. She is not happy with what she has or who she is and compares herself to others, especially her older (and unhappier) sister. Then there is David. He struggles with forgiveness. Lastly we meet Michael, a young man, who has pressure from his father about the future which creates self doubt about his own future desire. Besides these three, there is the upbeat, wise baggage handler. This is the first book I have read by author David Rawlings. I enjoyed his style of writing. It had a current vibe that was easy to read. A few spots seemed to drag for me. One of my favorite things he wrote was “The siren song of Facebook, a song she could never deny, called to her.” How true is that? So poetic and cutting for a current issue. Then he used “the siren song” again a bit later and I was disappointed to hear it again. The characters broke my heart. Why didn’t they see what weighed them down everyday? The book will make you take inventory of your own baggage. The ending left me wanting more. I wanted this book to evangelize about Jesus and Heaven. The Christian in me whispered that this book missed its mark. The end did, also. I wanted to know what happened after the characters left baggage claim. The Baggage Handler just left me wanting. However, I was thrilled to find Discussion Questions at the end. “The Baggage Handler” is a book that will make you think about your life. It certainly did me. I would recommend it. It would work wonderful in a reading group. There is so much to dissect and discuss. Individuals will enjoy it, too. I rated it a 3.5 stars. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a favorable review. These are my own, honest thoughts.
The book is similar in content to a few others I have read. I did enjoy the book and meeting the three main characters. We all have baggage we hold on to and don't realize how it slows us down in life. I loved how the author took three different characters and allowed us to watch them unpack their baggage with surprise and confusion. I often wonder how many people have picked up the wrong baggage and realized it after they left the airport? For each character there is an urgency to retrieve the right baggage and scurry on their way. It is easier to stuff your baggage with regret, anger, low self-esteem and other emotions and forget about them. What we don't realize is that someday those forgot about emotions will unpack at a time we are not ready for them. As each character is sent to a place to pick up their correct baggage, we see each one open up the heavy burdens they have been carrying. It reminds me of a backpack filled with bricks. You carry it around because you don't want to put it down and see what's inside . When you decide you cant go on, you unburden yourself of the baggage and there waiting is all the baggage called anger, deceit, forgiveness, pride and many other things that stare you right in the face. As you read this story, immerse yourself in it and allow God to take your burdens away. The lies we have believed and the struggles we have encountered have loaded us down and it is time to be set free . As the Baggage Handler explains to each of the three people, they must be able to let go of the baggage once they give it to him. How many times have we told God that we give our troubles to Him, then pick it up again? At the end of the book are questions that are worth looking at. These questions are for you to examine yourself and see what baggage you need to get rid of. The choice is ours to make: do we want to get rid of baggage that leads us to joy and freedom or hold on to it and continue to be unhappy ? I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
The baggage handler A book that really makes you think. A short book with a lot of meaning to it. David , Gillian and Michael each get the wrong suitcases at the airport. They find out after getting to their their destinations. Some very important items they really need from their suitcases. In the process of getting their suitcases back they meet the baggage handler. He shows them the baggage that they have in their life. Love how the author uses mix up baggage to have them learn of what is important in their life. I received a advanced copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This is my own opinion.
Regarding The Baggage Handler, while the book description gives some insight into what TBH is about, it doesn’t offer spoilers. Words like “baggage,” “baggage handler,” and “mysterious facility” pique readers’ interest, and immediately, we are drawn to know more. TBH is a short, quick read and anything but predictable. I loved the author’s writing style and the ease in which the dialogue flowed. Shared from the three main characters’ points-of-view, the tension and inner turmoil are palpable as each character’s story unfolds. I enjoyed getting to know David, Gillian, and Michael, and I identified with some of their life struggles. Despite their faults and foibles, I cheered for them. I wanted them to locate their baggage—and I admit—I wanted to know what was in it. That in itself—assessing others’ baggage and comparing it with our own. There’s something about that. When we focus on others’ “stuff,” it diverts attention from ours. I liked that diversion. I liked the analogies, life references, and insights gleaned. Then, whether intentional or not, I liked the subtle invitation to examine my baggage and the weight of it. Toward the end of the book, I hoped all the characters would release their baggage and find resolution to the weight they carried. That’s how much I cared about David, Gillian, and Michael. I came to know them as friends. I wanted them to succeed and move forward. While I won’t reveal spoilers, there are some surprises. I know I’ll never look at a suitcase the same way again. The Baggage Handler is thought-provocative and surreal. It’s one of those stories that begs questions and implores the reader to think long after the last page is read. It’s a book you’ll want to invite others to read because that’s the sheer power of story. Sometimes, a story can nudge our hearts in a way nothing and no one else can. Through story, we engage with worlds that impart hope and change lives. Through story, we supernaturally connect to a higher realm that offers balance against the weight of an imperfect world. My rating: 5/5 stars Highly recommend! Note: I received a copy of The Baggage Handler as per the publisher, however, I am in no way connected with the author’s launch team, nor have I received monetary compensation for my honest review. All impressions are my own.
The Baggage Handler delves into the subject of what baggage we are carrying and how it is weighing us down. This thought-provoking book will cause the reader to turn inward to find what baggage they might be carrying. The characters in this book are engaging and the story moves along at a good pace, I found the story to be worth reading. Imagine if you were given a choice to either keep the luggage you brought loaded down with large cement blocks or you could exchange it for a lighter, more manageable load with much better items inside. Even though this is a work of fiction, it provides a look at reality for the reader. I definitely can say I am glad I read this book.
The Baggage Handler was certainly an interesting read with the Baggage Handler. As the author states, we all have baggage we carry around everyday. This story focuses on gaining freedom from your baggage. With the Baggage Handler being a symbol of Jesus, the meaning is clear.The story made me think. It made me contemplate what I need to hand to Jesus. A book like this can't be ignored. Try as hard as you might, but this story will stick with you. That is what all stories should do and this one nailed it on the head. The writing style is relatable and understandable. With smooth transitions and an engaging tone, this supports the plot. I suppose you want to hear about the plot. In all honesty, it had some surprises that I saw coming and others that I did not see. I would recommend this novel to those who know they have baggage to sort out and those who don't think they have any - because you do. (sorry if i burst your bubble) Personal Rating: 4 Stars Content Rating: 4 Stars I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.
WOW! This is a book everyone should read. If you want to read a book that will leave a lasting impression and make an impact in how you hold on to the baggage in your life then give this a read. I was impressed with the writing style that reminded me of C.S. Lewis. We all carry baggage from our past but how we deal with it is what’s important. This will leave you rethinking and assessing the baggage in your life. I will put this on my keeper shelf and read as a reminder. It would make an excellent gift for the people in your life who need to deal with issues they have buried. I highly recommend this. I received a complimentary copy from CelebrateLit/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
I sat down and read this in one sitting. A very thought provoking novel with an almost otherworld quality. There were certainly things that happened that could not be explained. This novel brings in three characters that get their luggage mixed up after a flight. They are prompted to go to a facility in the “boonies” to exchange suitcases but get a whole lot more than they bargain for. We all carry excess “baggage” around everyday that we don’t want to let go of. I began thinking about Gillian’s baggage and I could relate to hers more than the other two. It certainly got me introspective. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit but was not required to write a review positive or otherwise.
I had no idea what to expect when I started reading The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings. Well, I suppose that’s not necessarily true, since I did read the description before signing up to review it. However, I was still pleasantly surprised. I love the analogy between the three main characters luggage and the baggage they live with in their lives. It was such a unique storyline, and so very clever. You’ll meet David, a man who is dealing with the sin of un-forgiveness—and it’s literally killing him. Then there is Gillian. She isn’t living with contentment because she’s too busy comparing herself to those around her, including her older (and unhappier) sister. Last is Michael, a young college-bound man, who struggles with believing in himself and the pressure his father puts on him to live out the dreams of the parent rather than his own God-given dreams and gifts. And of course, there is the baggage handler—an unlikely angel in the story. David Rawlings did a wonderful job depicting these characters and allowing the reader to see their three-dimensional personalities. I felt like the story dragged a bit in the middle and would have loved to see the “after” before the book came to a close. How did the realization of what baggage they’d been dragging around for so long change their interactions with those closest to them? I guess I’m a born romantic—and even when things don’t necessarily end well, I’d like to get a real taste of the aftermath. I was given a copy of this book for reviewing purposes, but the opinions are my own.
This was a different book than ones I typically choose, however I enjoy broadening my reading to other options. This one definitely fit the bill. Brief synopsis: Three people have their bags missing so the baggage handler finds their bags and gives it to them. But if it was that easy there wouldn't be a story. Instead, each individual discovers that the bags are not their own and essentials are missing. In turn, they return to the airport to get their correct bags. The baggage handler by now has given them each their own room to wait in, and when they get their bags they are correct, but have something additional in their bags. The story is a parable of sorts of how we as modern mankind carries with us so much baggage and yet, none of it is needed. The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy, with no requirements for a positive review.
What baggage are you carrying with you? It's really quite the loaded question. The Baggage Handler is a powerful story that takes a look at the lives of 3 people and the "baggage" they don't realize they are carrying with them wherever they go. What you may not expect as a reader, is that as the characters start to see their own baggage for what it is, you as a reader start to look at your own baggage and how it effects your life. Have you ever heard some one say to you "take it to the cross and leave it?" It's basically the concept of this book only spoken through a different metaphor. If we are never made aware of the baggage we carry, then we are unable to have it lifted from us. You can't escape it, and you can't pretend it's not there. You do have a choice with what you do with it though. This was a powerful read and I don't want to give anything more away. It's a shorter read so won't take you long, but I recommend this to everyone regardless of what your typical interests are. It's thought-provoking and is sure to leave you thinking long after you've closed the cover. What baggage will you give up? *I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Teachable moments! Thank you to Thomas Nelson (Publisher) and NetGalley for an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This was a pretty quick read. 3 people. 3 different struggles. What's the chance that they would have their paths cross and have their lives change forever? This was a very inspiring and uplifting story. A modern day parable that teaches us what happens when we hold on to the "baggage" in our life....and how letting it all go can benefit us.
This is a short gem of a book, David Rawlings has just gained a place up there with Andy Andrews. I have read several books that resemble this style, thought provoking, eye opening and have loved every one of them. Mr. Rawlings writing is excellent, the storyline is easy to follow and wow, it packs a punch. If you wonder if you have baggage, this is a perfect example to let you know you do, and a perfect example of how you can re-think your situation and possibly work toward a happier, more fulfilled life. I personally found the book club review questions very enlightening at the end, was a great way to mull the story over. I highly recommend and was given an advanced copy from Thomas Nelson through Net Galley for my honest review, this one gets 5****’s. Excellent read, highly recommend.
“I am the Baggage Handler. Do you need some help with your baggage?” three troubled individuals are asked in David Rawlings’s novel, The Baggage Handler. ~ What ~ This two-hundred-and-forty-page small hardbound targets those interested in an allegory about dealing with one’s baggage – the kind that you carry around with you unknowingly as it alters, changes, and disrupts your life. Using the slang word heck and darn, topics of adultery may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a note from the author, discussion questions, acknowledgments, and advertisements. In this current day allegory, three different characters’ lives are challenged when their similar-looking luggage is erroneously switched at the airport. While young Michael wants to break away from his father’s proposed footsteps, Gillian wishes for a perfect life like her sister’s, and David’s deep-rooted anger obstructs forgiveness, they all encounter the Baggage Handler, the one person who can help them eliminate their unwanted, unneeded, and damaging baggage. As each deal with their issues differently, they must make the choice of getting rid of their burdens or continue to carry their emotional load. ~ Why ~ Since we all carry some sort of baggage with us throughout our lives, this is an eye-opening book that may stop one in their tracks to circumspectly examine their own lives and consider what baggage they carry. I enjoyed the diversity of the three characters and how they approached or refuted their flawed personalities. The common problems of pleasing others instead of oneself, envy by comparison, and hurtful bitterness show how pride plays an important part in holding on to the past. The story is well-written and gripping. ~ Why Not ~ Those who do not like modern day parables with a supernatural twist of a being who can help lighten life’s load will not appreciate this book. Without mentioning God or Jesus, the reader is left to guess the role of the Baggage Handler is only to help a person get rid of their baggage and not be the only One who can save them. There is no eternal plan of salvation, only choices offered to rid themselves of not standing up for who they are, hating themselves, or holding grudges. ~ Wish ~ I did indeed enjoy this read, but my conscience knawed at its lack of mentioning Jesus is the only Way, Truth, Life, and the propitiation for sin and our ever-present faults. How much better the book would have been if it included praying to the Almighty for forgiveness, realizing God’s incredible love for us, and accepting others as He has us. ~ Want ~ If you are dealing with baggage of your own such as self-doubt, self-loathing, and self-pity, this tale of learning respect, finding inner beauty, and letting go is heartwarming, but it may not explain the True Baggage Handler who died on the cross for you. Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.
A short read? Yes. A great read? Not bad at all, it depends on the individual reading it in my opinion. I would not say this was the best book about a person carrying baggage (issues, problems, etc.) around with them, but I would say it was the most eccentric book I have ever read about people carrying baggage around with them. I think that David Rawlings came up with the perfect way to get people to think about the baggage they carry with them on a daily basis. I mean what would you do if you lost your baggage at the airport and they led you to a totally different building to get your baggage and some man walked out claiming to be the baggage handler and sits down on a couch and starts talking to you about why you're carrying around all of this baggage? I know what I would have done in all reality before I even left with them. But that is neither here nor there right now. The book is about us carrying around all of the baggage we carry, and for what? Needlessly. A single tear streaked down the Baggage Handler's face. "That's been there a very long time. A very long time. I'm sorry about what has happened....but you don't need to carry this baggage. You have a choice" I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson, through the BookLook Bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
When David, Gillian, and Michael arrive at the airport baggage carousel, they’re each in a hurry. They have something to prove on this trip and time is of the essence. However, when they grab their luggage they don’t realize they’ve chosen the wrong one. David, the hothead businessman, has to save his job by giving the best pitch possible, but when he opens his suitcase to get his presentation, he sees only women’s clothing. Gillian has arrived to attend her niece’s wedding and wants to impress her sister, so when she only has minutes to change for a luncheon she discovers out of horror her luggage contains men’s clothing. Michael just wants to be an artist, but his father has other plans and sends him to impress a coach at Clarendon University. He has one shot and needs his spikes from his luggage, but realizes at a glance he has the wrong bag. Each end up at a remote location to claim their respective bags, but what they discover is something out of the ordinary. The Baggage Handler is a modern-day parable urging the reader to think about the burdens weighing them down. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this thought-provoking book and couldn’t wait to find out how these three individuals got their luggage back. This is more than just another story. There’s a lesson in it for all of us. However, not everyone will learn to let go of their baggage. David Rawlings is an amazing author who captures the reader’s attention on the first page of this debut novel. The angst imprisoning each character is believable and put me into their shoes. The use of sensory details helps the reader picture and feel everything in each scene. I also loved the short chapters as I found myself pushing forward to read just “one more” before I closed the book. The message of this novel will hold the reader in its grasp. It’s powerful. I can’t wait for Mr. Rawlings’ next book! I give The Baggage Handler four luggage tags. It’s one story that will linger in the reader’s mind for a long time. **Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and the author in exchange for my honest review.