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Book summary: Mindful of Him is a tale of heartbreak and triumph set in the 1950s. Separated from his young wife, and with both of his parents recently deceased, Rob McLain sets off on an adventure for which he has longed since childhood. Travel with Rob as his journey not only takes him to beautiful places, but also crosses his path with influential men who help him through his loneliness. Five months into the trip, Rob has a moonlight encounter that changes his life forever and overwhelmingly convinces this young skeptic that God is indeed mindful of him!
Through it all, he receives answers to life's deepest questions. What does he learn? What happens to his wife? Do they get back together? Does he make it back safely?
Find the answers to these questions and others dealing with faith, creation, nature, and more in Mindful of Him, which will keep you reading long after you had planned to turn out the lights. Mindful of Him was inspired by the writings of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, the giant of 20th Century Christian philosophers. (Courtesy of Litfuse)
About the author: On a cold February day in 1928, Hollis Hughes was born in a ramshackle house with no insulation, plumbing, or electricity. Growing up on a farm during the Great Depression, Hollis spent his youth chopping wood, tending the family farm, milking cows, and tending to livestock. Following college graduation, Hollis worked as a high school teacher and counselor for 38 years, and operated a successful rhododendron nursery.
When Hollis’ wife developed Alzheimer’s disease in 1988, he spent the next twelve years taking care of her. Today, Hollis is retired from education. He is a fly fisherman, hiker, and gardener. He is a member of the American Camellia Society, and a lifetime member of the Birmingham Botanical Society. Hollis and his wife, Lera, make their home in Alabama.
Learn more about Hollis by visiting http://www.winepresspublishing.com/authors/hollis-hughes
Great quote: "Again, he thought about the price of progress. To run fast and free in the forest without cultural restraints is such a rare experience. To lie on a forest floor and let happen what will happen, even if only for a few minuets, does so much that needs to be done for the inner person. And almost every improvement in our lives leaves us further removed from what we once were. And we have not outgrown our need for those things that once were so much a part of our daily experience." ~ Page 58
My thoughts: Mindful of Him is a journey of both the body and the mind. Young newlywed Rob McLain has just suffered the loss of his parents, his unborn child and is also estranged from his wife. Though raised as a Christian, in college Rob abandoned religion in place of enlightenment and philosophy. However as life dealt him the series of tough blows, Rob is forced to examine everything in his life, from the ground up. Deciding to get away from it all for a while, Rob heads upriver from his childhood home, in search of the source. The source of life he finds both physically and spiritually.
Mindful of Him is an easy enough story to follow, with a young man getting back to nature while pondering the deep questions of the universe. The book contains much more, with philosophical questions at every turn that leave Rob (and the reader) pondering over the meaning of life and other such things.
The story is grounded in reality and philosophy, but also contains a true mystical element that the main character repeatedly attempts to pin down. And while the questions of life are all well and good, over the course of the novel, I must admit that I began to lose interest in the quest. The novel introduces a variety of characters that lived along the river, but the entire journey began to feel like an allegory without a lot of conclusion. In spite of the tedious repetition of philosophical questions though, this book really is well-written and the characters are charming and realistically flawed.
Culinary side note:
Have you ever heard of hoecakes? Are they a regional thing? The book mentions food quite frequently, and in particular hoecakes are common throughout the entire novel. I just had to look up hoecakes. I found a recipe on Hillbilly Housewife for hoecakes that looks easy enough. Might have to try making hoecakes tonight.
Rating: 4 of 5
Year originally published: 2011
You might want to know: Find more reviews on this book at LitFuse Book Tours.
Source: I received this book complimentary from LitFuse in exchange for an honest review but the opinion in this review is all mine.
Purchase on Amazon: Mindful of Him