From the New York Times bestselling author of A Dog Named Christmas!
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance meets Life of Pi in this quirky
spiritual journey across the wild highways and byways of America.
Free spirit Angel Two Sparrow—artist and musician extraordinaire—is having trouble making ends meet. On the verge of desperation, she inherits her crazy Aunt Lilly’s bookmobile and half-wolf named No Barks, and dreams up yet another life plan. Painting her business card on the side of the van, Angel and her trusty companion set off on a pilgrimage across America hoping to jump-start her new profession: Native American Spiritual Consultant.
Traveling in the other direction, Ted Day and his trusty Irish Terrier-mix Argo are on a much needed vacation (and in need of spiritual nourishment). When he leaves Kansas, Ted can’t image how far from his sleepy law office that old silver and black Winnebago 32RQ Chieftain will take him.
Two lives (four if you count the canines) collide (literally). Once the dust settles, Ted and Angel find themselves enamored. Sensing that something bigger and more profound has been set in motion, the couple embarks on a wild road trip, detouring into some rarely traveled corridors of the human soul. Very soon, it becomes clear that nothing will ever be the same for these travelers, their dogs, and, heck, the world at large, too.
“Coming from the author of books such as A Dog Named Christmas and Christmas with Tucker,” Kincaid writes, “This new novel might at first blush sound like a departure for me. And yet, Angel and Ted’s journey throughout the Southwest reveals the themes at the heart of all my work: the ultimate questions of life and love, of companionship and overcoming the odds.”
The author of A Dog Named Christmas and Christmas with Tucker takes a turn toward spiritual teaching in this new novel. Ted Day, a lonely and unfulfilled lawyer from a small town in Kansas decides to take a vacation in his grandfather's RV and is pulling into his first campsite when he hits the bookmobile driven by Angel Two Sparrow, an out-of-work Lakota Sioux who hit the road as a travelling spiritual consultant. After their collision, the two implausibly decide to get involved as teacher and student. Newly minted instructor Angel has a very specific course of study laid out and the reader follows along through her insights, many of which are contained in real-world texts that Kincaid frequently footnotes. Angel has a series of conveniently placed friends along the path of their quest; a Catholic priest, a Sufi Muslim, and a bicycle repairman well versed in Hinduism who all agree to act as advanced spiritual teachers for Ted. Although the bicycle repairman has his own footnote comparing him to a real spiritual author, the character also reads like a nod to Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Readers in search of insights shared on a road trip would be well advised to pick up Pirsig's book instead.