In Walker’s first book, readers are invited to join him on an autobiographical travelogue as he takes a meandering course across the heart of Canada.
Departing from Nova Scotia on the east coast, Walker drove his SUV as far north as the Yukon and as far west as British Columbia. A breezy, genial writer with an agreeable curiosity, he recalls the journey in a pleasant, conversational tone. The adventure also had a more somber side, though, as Walker—a retired attorney from Ontario and a longtime fighter for human rights—came to terms with the death of his spouse of many years. He spent the summer of 2012 healing and growing, taking a leisurely interest in the world around him: the wildlife, farmers rushing to bring their crops in before the rain, making new friends, and visiting long-absent family members. His journal entries take readers with him in the present tense, each moment unfolding as it did for him. He offers quiet encouragement to would-be travelers as well as a few handy tips on how they can head out on the road, too. With evenhanded opinions, he offers a verbal map of worthwhile sites for each place he visited, places readers will most likely wish to experience themselves, either on a long drive-about or in a day trip. The text is clean, if a bit undistinguished, and the descriptions of places, people, and events are clear and easy to understand. Most importantly, Walker’s long experience as a storefront attorney has made him comfortable around all sorts of people, and his openness to new interactions is infectious. Some travel books are about explorers dogged by disaster; this one is about an explorer of humanity. His inward journey toward accepting loss and things past is subtle and easily missed if the reader is in a hurried mood. Like Walker’s trip across Canada, the text should be enjoyed slowly.
A gentle and quiet real-life adventure.