06 October 2008

#42, and I am not talking about Pres. Clinton

The other day while reading the contents of Theolog I noticed a review of Shift. The review caught my eye for two reasons: a mention of WV and bicycling.

Starting in 10th grade I dreamt of riding my bike across country. I imagined hopping on my orange, heavy, 10sp Schwinn Continental and riding from WV to California or Oregon. But my parents freaked out if I barely mentioned it and tossed it off as one of my hair brained ideas. I never made the trip but I kept dreaming about it. Every time I hop on my bike I think of what it would be like to have the family and ride to the left coast. One of these days...

Until then there are stories from the journeys of others, enter Shaft by Jennifer Bradbury. The story of two high school graduates who ride across country from WV to WA, along the way they find themselves and mature quite a bit. Bradbury wrote the book for young adults but it is a good read for adults too, especially those who dream of riding across country, those who "moved" away from home, and those who sought their own way in the world.

My review from Library Thing,

After 25 pages I knew for a fact that either I knew the author or knew someone she knew. Why? There were too many details of WV life. Who else would know about John's Cyclery next to Taco Bell? That clue made me stop reading and google some information. After some research and a couple of emails it was confirmed, I knew the author's husband, but enough of that -- back to the book.

The book is a great read. It tells the story of Chris' and Win's cross country bicycling trip from WV to WA. The author tells the story in alternating chapters, one from Chris' current point of view then one from Chris's running diary of the trip.

I do not want to give any more details of the book. I do want to highlight the author's creative usage of the biblical story of Jacob wrestling the angel. I also want to say the way the author narrated the tricky and troubling aspect of young adulthood of growing up. Well done Mrs. Bradbury, look forward to future works!

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