“I needed to travel far away, attempt life on the other side of the world, to find I couldn’t get away from myself. If I wanted a life of wholeness and joy, I needed to make peace with who I was – everything I’d been through,” Paul Perkins writes in his book, Unexpected Journeys.
~ What ~
This two-hundred-forty-page paperback targets those who enjoy a spiritual “coming of age” of one’s man’s journey overcoming a guilt-ridden past. With quoted cussing and topics of smoking, drug use, and sexual content, it may not be appropriate for immature readers. After the author’s note, four parts cover Perkins’s travels in four countries, ending with acknowledgments and a biography.
At age twenty-eight, Paul Perkins left for a three month trip to Indonesia, Thailand, and India, after taking legal exams to become an attorney. While experiencing the culture, food, and scenery of the foreign lands, the soul-searching man who was considering marriage tried to understand the loneliness, isolation, guilt, shame, and lack of intimacy in his life. Dealing with partying friends, surfing, having a rat roommate, getting a ride from a ladyboy, and speaking about his faith, the pastor’s kid found redemption and freedom when he embraced uncertainty and abandoned expectations, realizing God used the experiences to mold him into a better man.
~ Why ~
Coming to terms with one’s past can be devastating yet cleansing and full of grace. I like how Perkins bared his heart to overcome the flashbacks and shame of childhood sexual abuse, showing how it followed him into areas of his adult life.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand what the author went through while processing that God is ultimately in control and allows events in each of our lives. Others may not like a book that focuses on traveling through parts of Asia.
~ Who ~
A former White House staffer and clerk for the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the author is a Washington DC lawyer with a wife and daughter.
~ Wish ~
I wish the book contained more regarding the author’s relationship with his wife. I prefer capitalization of all pronouns of God for reverence.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a memoir of a young man’s maturity emotionally and spiritually as he overcomes his past, this one promotes that God is always there with us, no matter what we endure.
Thanks to the Book Club Network for offering this book to read and review for my honest opinion.
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Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.