“This is a great story that really takes the reader on more than a journey in self-discovery. Told in third (3rd) person; the POV switches from Lincoln, Eliza, Bree, to Andy.
I honestly couldn’t put it down; I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen to them.”
“I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, for the vivid Australia life descriptions, the great array of characters, and for teaching some honest life lessons that we all need to hear. . . . I think that David Rawlins’s style of writing leans toward realism, and in real life, we do not know always get to know the outcome of something. We are just along for the journey.”
“This is a very interesting book, with interesting characters. . . . This is my third book by David Rawlings, and each one gets better. He has a unique way of telling a story, and you just want to come back for more with each book. This is such an enjoyable read that anyone will have fun reading it. I highly recommend Where the Road Bends!!”
The four mortarboard tassels flicked away the past and ushered in the future as they arced in the afternoon sun. The circle of friendship that withstood four hard years started its inevitable loosening; the glue that bonded their foursome eased away as the cheers across the quad died away. The clock started a lifetime of mesmeric ticking, a time for potential to become performance.
The first hand thrust the caught cap onto a head of bouncing red curls. Bree Carter choked back tears as she flicked the tassel from her eyes. “I can’t believe it’s all over.”
Andy Summers grabbed his mortarboard and spun it between his fingers, his lithe forearm muscles rippling as the billowing gown’s sleeves fell away. “This moment has been so far away for years and now that it’s here, it doesn’t seem real.”
“Where the Road Bends is an intriguing tale of four close college friends who, upon graduation, promised to reunite in Australia in 15 years, whether or not they keep in close contact. . . . The characters were portrayed well and the situations fairly well described. The concept was a very sound one.”
With the gloss of their fifteen-year reunion fading, the buzz of excitement settled into the sharp ache of anxiety. One set of American thumbs twiddled on the cold gray table in the interview room of a police station parked in the red dust of the tiny town nestled in the heart of Australia. Fingernails of a second tourist beat an impatient tattoo, while another set of American nails was already halfway chewed away.
The ordeal started long before the police car ride back into civilization, the unexpected bookend to a reunion that had started days earlier. Their story—which they each thought to be unbelievable—turned out to be a variation of someone else’s. Except one, which went unspoken. That someone else should have been sitting in the empty chair, but the police had found no trace at all, save for a neat stack of rocks at their campsite.
“I loved the descriptions and lessons about Australia and the culture, sort of crushing some of the stereotypes that we have here in America. I learned some new things! . . . it got me thinking and reflecting on my own life since college, the path that I am on currently, and how that matches up with what my expectations had been back then. I guess it was kind of happening anyway, as it periodically does. But this book brought it back to the forefront again. . . . This was an interesting way to get you to reflect on your life and how something bigger is guiding you along the way.”
“I thought it was an intriguing storyline . . . It makes a reader reflect on their own circumstances, and how they could grow as an individual. . . . Overall it was a fun story to read. The characters all had things they needed to learn from and grow from. . . I think Rawlings fans will enjoy the story.”
“I enjoyed the journey that this book has taken me on. I think it’s because of the life’s lessons that this book has to offer and it certainly does make us think about some of the passages that were in this book. . . . The setting of Australia was so well described that I was able to picture myself in the story. . . . I certainly recommend this book. I did finish the book in one day. I didn’t want to put it down.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the writing of this story. They way David Rawlings writes his contemporary fiction and how it’s easy to relate to the characters . . . I enjoyed the journey in their personal lives and the spiritual journey as well. Definitely a good read and would recommend it!”
“Rawlings paints a vivid picture of the Australian outback that transports you to the ruggedness the land both beautiful and deadly.
“What a fantastic book!! The author did a fabulous job of drawing me right into the story and getting me really invested in the lives of the characters. If you are looking for a great escape read, I highly recommend this one!!”
Andy’s heart pounded in his chest and his ears. A tremor rippled through him, his limbs buzzing. He’d failed the first challenge, but he still hadn’t called for help. I will deal with this myself and not give you the satisfaction. He could do this—all he had to do was chase away the goanna. He surveyed the area. A fallen limb rested against the trunk. That would do.
With an annoyed headshake, his attacker lumbered away with its strange, swaying gait. Halfway to the bushes it turned and headed straight for Andy’s backpack, nosed it open, and rummaged inside.
“Where the Road Bends is an intriguing and enjoyable novel that shows us we all have the ability to change. If you look at your life and find you’re not where you want to be or you’re not happy, take the bend in the road that leads to where you want to be.”
Eddie brushed past him. “Are you hungry, mate? Let’s grab some tucker, hey?”
Andy furrowed his brow. “Tucker?”
Eddie’s voice echoed from deep within the trailer. “Tucker. Food. We might have some spiders or bugs you can eat.”
Andy froze. He was starving, but there was no way he would be forced into that. He reached for the softened shape of the remaining Mars bar in his pocket. He hoped he wouldn’t have to make it last.
Eddie emerged from the trailer, his pearly white grin beamed through the fading afternoon light. “I thought so. I’m only winding you up because your mate said you’d be up for anything.”
In the middle of the path a long, black snake coiled back on itself. It appeared to be gathering energy to strike. At her.
Bree flushed cold in the heat as she froze. “Eddie?” Three more long syllables.
The snake eyed her from the path, the sun rippling from its dark-brown scales. Its head eased back into its body.
The foliage parted. “Don’t. Move.” Eddie stepped off the path and inched around the snake, his eyes not deviating from the threat. The snake sensed his movement and jerked back.
Eddie stepped in front of Bree and placed an arm across her, his voice flat. “I want you to take a step back. Slowly. He doesn’t like sudden movements.”
“Like he does in his previous books, Rawlings uses this story of friends to deliver valuable insight and thought-provoking sentiments. While I do wish the characters had been a little more fleshed out, Where the Road Bends does prove to be an interesting story—especially given its atmospheric setting!”
Fifteen years after college graduation, four friends reconnect to keep a long-ago promise and go on a trip of a lifetime in the Australian Outback.
Eliza needs to disconnect from her high-powered fashion job to consider the CEO position she’s just been offered. Lincoln hopes to rekindle a past relationship and escape from another one. Bree looks forward to a fun getaway from home and her deeply buried disappointments. Andy wants to disappear from the mess he’s made of his life—possibly forever.
Dropped at a campsite in the middle of nowhere, the friends quickly discover they aren’t the same people they once were, and they begin to confront hard truths about one another—and themselves. Then a bizarre storm sweeps across their camp, scattering them across the desert. Wondering if they are part of some strange escape game, each of the friends meets a guide to help them find exactly what they need: purpose, healing, courage, and redemption.
But they’ve already traveled far down the road of life and course-correcting to become the people they were meant to be won’t be easy.
About the Author
David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father of three who loves humor and a clever turn of phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.
One winner will receive a print copy of The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings (US only)
Ends June 24, 2020