Author: Tim Bishop
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: Bicycle Adventure #1
Release Date: June 20, 2023
Publisher: Open Road Press
There's always an escape. Sometimes you need to search long and hard for the right one.
After losing all he once cherished, Doug Zimmer follows his wife’s parting bread crumbs and rides up the Pacific coast—on a bicycle. Armed with a revolver and only a vague plan to get through the months ahead, he aims to end his depression one way or the other.
As spiritual forces wrangle for his soul, he pedals eastward across America. He meets Lauren Baumgartner—a younger adventurer with a vibrant spirit—and a band of zealots who confront his aversion to religion. Accompanying Doug are not only sunny days and the beauty of nature but also the perils of the road, fellow travelers with their own stories, and the hollow silence of solitary campsites playing host to unseen creatures of the night.
A jarring episode on a climb through a treacherous pass brings Doug face-to-face with life and death. Will Doug’s adventure deliver him from loneliness and lament . . . or hurtle him to an abrupt end?
Reviewer: Demetria Head
The Persistent Road by Tim Bishop is a deeply moving and introspective novel that explores the themes of grief, self-discovery, and spiritual awakening. The story follows Doug Zimmer, a man who is grappling with the profound loss of his wife to cancer. Overwhelmed by his grief and struggling to find meaning in life, he contemplates ending his own.
Bishop's portrayal of Doug's journey is poignant and thought-provoking. As Doug embarks on his quest for meaning and purpose, he encounters both internal and external obstacles that test his resolve. The author skillfully depicts Doug's inner turmoil and the conflicts he faces, including the presence of both positive and negative spiritual forces that vie for his attention and influence.
Through Doug's experiences, readers are taken on a transformative journey of self-reflection and personal growth. The author delves into the complexities of grief and the search for solace, painting a realistic and empathetic portrait of a man navigating the depths of his emotions and religious aversion. As Doug grapples with his demons and confronts the challenges that arise, he undergoes a spiritual awakening that ultimately leads him to a greater understanding of himself, the world around him, and his lost connection with God.
Tim Bishop's writing style is introspective and evocative, allowing readers to connect deeply with Doug's emotional journey. The narrative is filled with profound insights and moments of contemplation, prompting readers to reflect on their own lives and the universal questions of existence. The exploration of spirituality adds a layer of depth and intrigue to the story, further enhancing its impact.
The Persistent Road is a compelling and heartfelt novel that tackles themes of loss, resilience, and the search for spiritual meaning. Tim Bishop's sensitive and introspective approach to storytelling creates an immersive reading experience. This book offers solace, inspiration, and a reminder of the transformative power of hope and self-discovery.
This was an easy five stars and those who are a fan of the Christian Fiction genre will love it.
I received a complimentary copy from the author through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Rob Seabrook
Through a series of life-changing circumstances and loss, Doug, our main protagonist in this novel, is led to a point where he needs to escape the world to process all that has happened. We may associate with that feeling. However, his solution is a little more radical than we may consider – he embarks on a mammoth cycling journey across the USA, destined to bring him peace, one way or another.
We discover that his journey through life has not been an easy one, and not far beneath the surface is a history of mental health issues that mean his take on “peace” may be one we find challenging. If the topic of suicide is a trigger for you, then I suggest you approach this book with caution.
The impact of the trauma on his mental health is evident, with suicidal thoughts naturally clouding his judgment, leading him down a few wrong paths. As the journey carries on, his story unravels, revealing a difficult past with plenty of scars. But throughout his life, there is a history of God always being on his case. He is presented with many opportunities to hear the Gospel, just none of them quite being the right time.
The journey takes several twists and turns, accompanied by a series of incidents that pull Doug into the chaotic lives of others. He faces some tough emotional challenges alongside the harsh physical journey, a helpful reflection on the spiritual journey that Doug faces.
At pretty much his lowest point, when a major incident occurs, he has the right people around him to support, refocus, and ultimately bring him back to God, which finally brings him the release and relief that his soul needs.
The theme of God being on our case, always never giving up on us, is a strong one and a lesson for us all, sometimes through the people who He brings across our path, sometimes more subtly, through the evidence around us in the form and beauty of nature, where His greatness is so evident.
This is a good read, an engrossing story with a strong redemptive message.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of the author for my honest review.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
This novel is excellent in its look into the soul of a man in turmoil, in denial of what he needs to live an authentic life without the restrictions of doubt and despair.
I was taken on a journey of self-discovery with Doug, a man who lost his wife to cancer but lost himself much sooner than that. At his wife’s request, he begins a road trip — on a recumbent bike — with specific destinations.
Along the way, he meets people who stir up his emotions, reflect things he isn’t prepared to see in himself and bring him face to face with the only One who can bring redemption and heal his broken heart.
The Gospel is presented organically through other characters as they preach to Doug, causing offense, empathizing, and sharing, making him curious. They live out their faith, stirring his desire for the Savior.
I’m reminded of a modern-day The Pilgrim’s Progress as he struggles with his inner demons opposing the desire for change. This is a new classic I highly recommend for every personal library.
I was given a copy courtesy of the author. This is my honest opinion of the book.
Reviewer: Jeanette Durkin
Wow! This book offers hope for the hopeless. It also touches on how each person has a reason to live and how your life can impact others around you. This book really makes you think about your life.
"Life is a precious gift but a fragile one. Celebrate the joy of living while you can and help others do the same. We never know when that gift will be taken away from us."
I was fully engrossed with Doug and his story. The author's use of imagery brought each place Doug visited to life. A definite must-read!
I was provided a copy of this book through Interviews and Reviews. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Conny Withay
“Getting away to process his losses and erase the dreadful emptiness inside was precisely why Doug had launched his grand adventure,” Tim Bishop writes in his novel, The Persistent Road.
This three-hundred-and-sixty-page advance reader copy targets men and women interested in Christian adventure fiction involving cycling in America. Using slang words such as darn and heck, topics of gambling, alcohol/drug use, prostitution, injury, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes sixteen discussion questions, acknowledgments, the author’s biography, and advertisements.
The first in the Bicycle Adventure Series, this current-day story involves sixty-year-old Doug Zimmer, who has lost the love of his life and his job, so he embarks on a bicycle trip to find himself. As he pedals his recumbent from Southern and Northern California to Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, he goes on a scavenger hunt that forces him to face his emotional, spiritual, and mental issues.
Even though I am not a cyclist, this was an engaging read as it pulled me onto the road of Doug’s life, where he had to be brought down to the lowest low to rise up and recognize God’s love, mercy, and purpose He has for him. I loved how the eternal plan of salvation was simply yet earnestly stated and how it is the answer to the heartbreaking miles of life we all face. Doug’s depression, self-doubt, and guilt were perfectly described as he rolled out of his comfort zone to find peace. I appreciated the scenic descriptions of Route 12 as the rider transversed dangerous Hells Canyon and Lolo Pass.
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not like this tale of how God directs and steers our lives to get our attention. Some may not like reading about drinking, doing drugs, and suicidal thoughts. A few may not be interested in a story about bicycling across the United States, but there are many caring characters who cross Doug’s path, such as a young violinist, a pastor, and an experienced cyclist.
Although this is fiction, including a map of Doug’s travels would be helpful for geographical reference. I prefer no slang in Christian books.
If you enjoy reading about a cyclist’s trip pedaling toward the persistent pull of God, this one with twists and turns blends riding, nature, and learning about forgiveness into an amazing, well-worth-it adventure.
Thanks to the author, Open Road Press, and Interviews & Reviews for this complimentary book. I am under no obligation to give a positive review.
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