3.5 out of 5 stars
I first heard of Andy Andrews as a keynote speaker at a Women of Faith Conference. Later, I discovered tidbits of information on his past, on how he started literally from underneath a bridge and made the choice to change his life. Somewhere along the way, he decided to see how many people he could bring with him along for the ride as he perches on the New York Times Bestseller List in a myriad of categories on a regular basis. As noted for his speaking as for his writing abilities, his methods for keeping the attention of an audience, and inspiring them to be better because of their time spent with him, is impressive.
To me, the opportunity to read any of his books is an appealing way to get to know this inspiring individual, even if it is through a piece of fiction. The writer becomes as important as the story, and I went into this experience prepared to adore the story because I already admired its writer.
I won’t say that I was disappointed in the story, but rather that I loved the premise and thought there could be so much more to it.
So, on to that story. What if some of the most notable members of our history, the ones whose decisions affected the greatest number of lives, gathered together to offer their opinions on what is wrong with today’s world, and how to change it? An intriguing question, and Andrews uses one of his beloved characters from “The Traveler’s Gift” to answer it. Written as a sequel, the reader need not be familiar with the first story in order to fully understand this one.
David Ponder, the aging main character of this story, gets the opportunity to lead such a summit, charged with tapping into the wisdom of past ‘travelers’ of world history to answer the question, “What must change in order to save humanity?” The group is given 5 chances to come up with the two-word answer.
What followed was lengthy discussion; imaginary dialogue on what needs to change, and why. At this point, the book became too easy to put down. Maybe I expected more action, or perhaps I expected God to become more of the solution.
It’s is a good story with a good message told in a creative way. I learned a great deal about history, and it is evident that Andrews researched the actual characters in great detail before including them in his summit. I consider it more of a self-help type of book along the lines of How to be Highly Effective more than a story that changed my life in some way. It reminded me of a movie where the entire movie shows the chase for the secret to life, but the audience is left walking out of the theater thinking “Is that all there is?”
Still, nothing can take away from the accomplishments of Andrews, what could be gained by reading this book and studying the thought processes of some of the most notable, and effective, members of world history. I recommend this book for the the food for thought alone. It is nice to wonder what Abraham Lincoln or King David would say if they were here facing the world with us today.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”