Thursday, August 18, 2005

kirkpatrick's lost

Freelance wildlife photographer Stephen Kirkpatrick makes a trip to the Peruvian Amazon in 1995 with the hope of snapping an image worthy of National Geographic. This need to find good material is so paramount it pushes Kirkpatrick’s expedition to start out with hand-drawn maps of an area virtually unvisited by man, and with only a general idea of the route that will lead them to the planned pick-up point. Their hastily put together plans fall apart very quickly, and it’s not long before the group realizes that they are lost in the rainforest. The book is more than just a retelling of what happened to the expedition – there’s plenty of drama, comedy, suspense, fast-paced action, and nature to satisfy any reader. Kirkpatrick takes comfort in thinking about his three sons, who he does not see as often as he’d like since his divorce. His other sense of comfort comes from his daily prayers to God. As a Christian, Kirkpatrick believes that God will answer every prayer, so he keeps asking God to help him make it through this journey. Kirkpatrick’s narrative is not particularly liturgical, doctrinal or objective; his is an experiential faith that wavers, struggles, and is almost lost completely at times, but like Kirkpatrick himself, it somehow holds on. At one point he journals, "I still have faith. I'm praying and putting my trust in God. But I have to be realistic. Christians die just like everyone else." Kirkpatrick eventually realizes that faith is what sustains him, but there is no guarantee as to the outcome of the journey. Readers will not only feel like a member of the expedition, but will also discover some hidden truths about life, love, and faith.

(This book is currently nominated as a "Best of 2005")


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