Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
In James P. Usavage’s thoughtful novella, On These Shores, a man reflects on his life and finds hope just when his life is about to fall apart. Burdened by excessive debt, Benedict Barns dreads going to work. His job has become an unfulfilling chore and he is constantly in conflict with his wife while at home. He plans a brief solo trip to Florida to avoid a breakdown and find some peace. While walking on a beach, he starts to notice things that he has never noticed before. As he takes in the beauty and sounds around him, he starts to think about eternity. While on the trip, a stranger approaches him. Ben wonders whether the man could be his ticket out of his current woes but his instinct warns him that something may not be right.
While brief, the allegory contains profound lessons regarding contentment and learning to identify and develop the things that are most important in life. I liked that the story is relatable and suited to our times. It is thought-provoking and will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and change their perspective if need be. I appreciated the descriptions included about the breathtaking scenery in Florida. I also found the twist in the story involving the stranger Ben encounters exciting. The story ends beautifully with a reminder about making time for the things that matter. On These Shores by James P. Usavage is a straightforward story with important lessons that anyone will find helpful. Highly recommended.