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Reviewed by Grace Masso for Readers' Favorite
Rough Way to the High Way by Kelly Mack McCoy is an inspirational novel that explores the workings of God’s grace in the ordinary and troubled life of a former pastor as he deals with an unbearable loss. After the murder of his wife, Georgia, Mack’s life as a pastor is upended, so he sells everything and buys a new Peterbilt truck. He leaves behind everything, even disconnecting from most people he has known in life, and sets out on the road trucking — a profession he enjoyed decades ago. Along the highway, as he leaves his town of Pampa behind and compelled by an inner voice, he picks a hitchhiker just where a sign says: Do Not Pickup Hitchhikers. Along the way, he encounters different characters, both good and bad, runs into trouble with police officers, deals with smugglers and a killer. While he has left behind his vocation and hometown, God has not left him as He provides tools for a new mission and opens Mack’s eyes to new ways of serving Him.
I loved this novel and the author’s unique gift for writing characters that are interesting and real. From the waitress Barb to the cops, Pipe Cleaner, and Round Face, to Agent Red Face, Mr. Tobacco, Rocky, Blondie, and Dr. Hashim, the author creates characters with a strong role in the story. They are humanly relatable and fleshed out. The quirkiness in the naming of characters is an element of the story that I liked. The story is filled with twists and turns, and the author develops plot points that are unexpected. Barb is one of my favorite characters; she is self-effacing, yet interesting in the way she opens Mack’s eyes to the real world. Rough Way to the High Way is cleverly plotted and written in exceptionally good prose. The story is filled with insightful moments and drama while offering strong spiritual lessons.