Chicago celebrity and pitchman Charles James is supposed to be dead. Everyone believes he was killed in a fiery plane crash, a flight he narrowly missed. But thanks to that remarkable twist of fate, he’s very much alive and ready for a second chance at life and love. Escaping death has brought Charles some clarity: the money, the fame, the expensive cars; none of it brought him true joy or peace. The last time he was truly happy was when he was married to his ex-wife Monica, before their relationship was destroyed by his ambition and greed.
In this final installment of the exciting and provocative series that began with The Broken Road and The Forgotten Road, Charles is still on his pilgrimage across the iconic Route 66. He intends to finish his trek from Amarillo to Santa Monica, despite learning that his ex-wife is now planning to marry another man. With the initial reason for his trip in jeopardy, he still has lessons to learn along the way before he discovers—and arrives at—his true destination.
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About the Author
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
The Road Home
I’ve come to believe that direction is more important than destination. It’s better to be in hell looking up toward heaven than it is the other way around.
CHARLES JAMES’S DIARY
FROM CHARLES JAMES
When I was eight years old, about five years before I dismissed God from my life, I asked the priest at church if God made the Garden of Eden.
“God made everything,” he replied.
“Did he make the snake, too?”
Even though my question was an honest one, the priest shook his head angrily and called me a naysayer. At that age I had no idea what that meant, but from his tone, I was sure it was something sinful.
More than twenty years later I still haven’t stopped thinking about that question. Perhaps the truth is that it’s impossible to build an Eden without snakes, because there’s a snake inside all of us.
Likewise, I’ve come to believe that you can’t have order without chaos. That doesn’t mean that chaos is desirable or on equal terms with order. The nature and goal of civilization is to bring order to chaos (hence the word “civil”). But I don’t see how you can have one without the other. Even anarchy follows rules.
My life right now is the perfect example of that conundrum. I’m living on the street with my future unknown, my business closed down, walking to a woman who not only believes I’m dead but might also not even be upset that I am. My life is the epitome of chaos. So why does my life feel more in order than it has in a decade? Maybe because, in the end, where we are is less important than where we’re going.