Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Mountain Beyond by Terry Miller (Review)



The Mountain Beyond
by Terry Miller
Xulon Press
ISBN: 978-1-60791-251-4/218 pages/softcover/$15.99

From the Publisher:

Many of us will look back on the current economic crisis as a defining event in our lives. Our nation faces an uphill climb as we seek to correct many of the mistakes that brought us to this point. This is not the first major obstacle the American people have sought to overcome, and it won’t be the last. Now is the time for us to embrace the wisdom of those who remember what it means to pull together as a community with committed faith in God that helps us keep climbing the mountains and obstacles of life as well as experience the victories achieved along the way.

In his new book, The Mountain Beyond, author Terry Miller invites readers to join him on a trip back to the America of his childhood in the 1940s and 1950s. As they are transported to a small town at the foot of a Maryland mountain, readers will partake in the events that shaped not only Miller’s own life but the course of a nation’s history.

“Many of us travel to mountaintops in our lives. What do we face as we make the journey? The terrain along the paths and trails to the mountain’s top holds many of life’s truths, as sojourners travel to a destination that may not be the one originally planned,” says Miller. “We have choices with each step we take. Will we move forward or backward? We can choose to go on to the top, take a different direction, stop along the way to get refreshed, or simply quit. The choice is ours.”

Though Miller fondly remembers the innocence of the 1940s and 1950s, his own childhood was far from trouble-free. As the writer honestly and frankly brings out, these times were simpler, perhaps even sweeter, though it still had its challenges and stumbling blocks.

Since his parents were basically absent from his life, he was raised by extended family. It has taken many years for those wounds to heal, and they did but not without leaving scars. In The Mountain Beyond, he passes on the gems of wisdom he unearthed through the choices and consequences of his youth, as well as the spiritual lessons he has learned along the way.

The Mountain Beyond treats readers to a guided tour of some of the most iconic symbols of small town America in days gone by. Miller revisits the old swimming hole, the soda jerk, the boy scouts, the teenage road trip, and Halloween, 1950s style. The dual themes of homemade fun and old-fashioned hard work are woven throughout the narrative. While work ethics were instilled in the youth of his day, there was still time for fun!

With so much bad news dominating today’s outlook, The Mountain Beyond provides a refreshing escape to a sweeter time when doors to homes and cars were typically left unlocked. This book is the ultimate feel-good read, and it is packed with life’s lessons.

In times like these, Miller stresses the importance of perseverance. “We must keep on climbing any time we encounter a roadblock, obstacle or mountain that stands in the way of achieving our goal. Unless we persevere, we will succumb to the barrier and miss the mark; we risk filling our lives with defeat rather than victory.”

My Review:
This was an interesting memoir of a young boy growing up in the 1940s and 50s. A quick easy read it flowed well. It did not go in direct chronically order but it was okay. It ended with his graduating high school and joining the Air Force. Many of the stories made me laugh. I am a 26 year old female and I enjoyed reading it. If you like memoirs of this time period then you should like this one. Recommended. :)

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