Dr. William Koval, a pragmatist with little faith in humanity, prefers to dwell in the eerily comforting microscopic realm, where he is master of his domain. But his worldview is upended when he decides to go on the English walking tour his wife had been planning before her murder three years earlier. Only when William confronts his past, including his troubled marriage, will he find a way to rejoin the living, to move forward, and perhaps love again. The real journey, he discovers, lies within.
Jacked up on endorphins he ventured downtown. On a whim he decided to check out a high-end men’s clothing store, Les Hommes. Entering the shop, he was immediately struck by the theater, the drama. The crisp scent of fine fabrics, the artful yet calculated display of footwear. Stacks of shirts folded with military precision, arranged not by color, but texture. In spite of the pageantry, the shop appeared deserted. Other than a lone gentleman browsing neckties, William was alone.
Before he had a chance to duck out a woman emerged from backstage to ambush him. “Are you looking for anything in particular?”
“I’m looking for something a little more summery, I suppose.”
“What’s the occasion?”
Her question flummoxed him. What was the occasion? “It’s a date, kind of a date.”
She tilted her head to one side, looking him over. “Lucky woman,” she concluded.
Vacation is a story of personal discovery that unfolds in the beautiful English countryside.
Dr. William Koval's life has been in a holding pattern since his wife Kathleen's murder a few years back. Instead of mourning and moving forward, he buries himself in his work at Northwest Hospital (in Seattle, Washington). He is kind of going through the motions of life, but not really living. When he is forced to take his accrued vacation time or lose it, Dr. Koval decides to take a walking tour of rural England. It is a vacation that his wife had been planning before her untimely death.
With the help of a motley crew of vacationing walkers, Dr. Koval is forced to take a honest look at his previous life with Kathleen, his current life in limbo, and the life he'd like to have in the future. What starts off as a way to pass the time turns into a trip of self-discovery.
Vacation is a tale of love, loss, and friendship. It is... [taps fingers]. Deep, but not buried in sadness. Crazy without being too over the top. Inspirational without being preachy. I really appreciated the author's attention to detail. I could imagine myself in Dr. Koval's shoes as I clicked the pages. I could also imagine myself being a walker on his trip. There were even a couple of plot twists that threw me for a loop. It makes me squeeze my kindle with delight when that happens :-)
A unique blend of literary fiction and romance, most readers and those in need of a vacation will find Vacation a worthwhile read.
NOTE: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Although I have visited England, I now want to go back and take a walking tour. I'd love to roll down the hill on the cover a couple of times.
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