The Traveler's Gift - Andy Andrews
Clean-cut comedian/writer/lecturer Andrews is a frequent speaker on the motivational circuit and the editor of several collections of real-life inspirational tales (the Storms of Perfection series). With this tale of misfortune and redemption, he branches out into inspirational fiction. Sadly, the sense of humor that apparently delights his live audiences does not enliven his debut novel, a standard motivational spiel thinly disguised as fiction. David Ponder, 46-year-old father and husband, loses his job and, after moping a bit, gets into a car accident. Upon losing consciousness, he is transported to the past, where he meets Harry Truman, King Solomon, Civil War hero Joshua Chamberlain, Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, Anne Frank and the angel Gabriel. The lessons they impart are condensed into seven affirmations, awkwardly termed the Seven Decisions. Andrews's prose style is strictly workmanlike, and he often slips into honeyed personal growth speak: "I am an eagle. It is my destiny to fly" and "I will walk with a spring in my step and a smile on my face." Those seeking guidance would do well to turn to more substantial nonfiction offerings; those in search of satisfying storytelling will be warned off by the subtitle. Author tour.