Walter’s debut memoir, set in post–World War II America, delves into the importance of faith and self-reliance.
The author grew up in a classic 1950s family in a small town in Colorado, and he had loving parents, “three square meals a day, warm clothes, a home with enough beds for everyone and a real sense of pride in America.” Walter takes us back to a simpler time in this memoir, when people could leave their cars unlocked and didn’t overprotect their children, and the country rose to global economic and cultural dominance. The text moves from story to story, using folksy colloquialisms reminiscent of a kind grandfather’s, and a running theme becomes clear: God, the author writes, has provided the author with blessings—miracles and angels—despite his wavering (and sometimes nonexistent) belief in the Almighty. He depicts his life as being guided by an unseen hand to happiness and joy, from his birth in the United States, to his success in business, to meeting his wife. Walter’s previously written articles about faith are included throughout, including such maxims as “a good wife will always let you know you're unzipped before you leave the house.” Some readers may find it corny, but they’ll also enjoy the author’s comfortable, casual style as he episodically relates his life story. Critical readers, though, may find the memoir to be an unconvincing argument for faith and may merely regard it as one man’s trip through America’s past—which may seem a bit too idyllic. That said, the author truly believes in his faith and loves telling his story, and his pleasure may become the reader’s.
A likable memoir, full of the author’s love of life, even if it often covers familiar territory.