The Road to Grace (Walk Series #3)

The Road to Grace (Walk Series #3)

by Richard Paul Evans

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Join one of America’s beloved storytellers on a walk like no other: one man’s unrelenting search for hope.

Reeling from the sudden loss of his wife, his home, and his business, Alan Christoffersen, a once-successful advertising executive, has left everything he knew behind and set off on an extraordinary cross-country journey. Carrying only a backpack, he is walking from Seattle to Key West, the farthest destination on his map.

Now almost halfway through his trek, Alan sets out to walk the nearly 1,000 miles between South Dakota and St. Louis, but it’s the people he meets along the way who give the journey its true meaning: a mysterious woman who follows Alan’s walk for close to a hundred miles, the ghost hunter searching graveyards for his wife, and the elderly Polish man who gives Alan a ride and shares a story that Alan will never forget.

Full of hard-won wisdom and truth, The Road to Grace is a compelling and inspiring novel about hope, healing, grace, and the meaning of life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451628333
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 05/08/2012
Series: Walk Series , #3
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 62,178
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Richard Paul Evans is the #1 bestselling author of The Christmas Box. Each of his more than thirty-five novels has been a New York Times bestseller. There are more than thirty-five million copies of his books in print worldwide, translated into more than twenty-four languages. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Mothers Book Award, the Romantic Times Best Women’s Novel of the Year Award, the German Audience Gold Award for Romance, five Religion Communicators Council Wilbur Awards, the Washington Times Humanitarian of the Century Award, and the Volunteers of America National Empathy Award. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children. You can learn more about Richard on Facebook at, or visit his website,


Salt Lake City, Utah

Date of Birth:

October 11, 1962

Place of Birth:

Salt Lake City, Utah


B.A., University of Utah, 1984

Read an Excerpt



The sun will rise again. The only uncertainty is whether or not we will rise to greet it.

Alan Christoffersen’s diary

Several months after I was mugged, stabbed, and left unconscious along the shoulder of Washington’s Highway 2, a friend asked me what being stabbed felt like. I told her it hurt.

Really, how do you describe pain? Sometimes doctors ask us to rate our pain on a scale from one to ten, as if that number had some reliable meaning. In my opinion there needs to be a more objective rating system, something comparative; like, would you trade what you’re feeling for a root canal or maybe half a childbirth?

And with what would we compare emotional pain—physical pain? Arguably, emotional pain is the greater of the two evils. Sometimes people will inflict physical pain on themselves to dull their emotional anguish. I understand. If I had the choice between being stabbed or losing my wife, McKale, again, the knife has the advantage—because if the knife kills me, I stop hurting. If it doesn’t kill me, the wound will heal. Either way the pain stops. But no matter what I do, my McKale is never coming back. And I can’t imagine that the pain in my heart will ever go away.

Still, there is hope—not to forget McKale, nor even to understand why I had to lose her—but to accept that I did and somehow go on. As a friend recently said to me, no matter what I do, McKale will always be a part of me. The question is, what part—a spring of gratitude, or a fountain of bitterness? Someday I’ll have to decide. Someday the sun will rise again. The only uncertainty is whether or not I will rise to greet it.

In the meantime, what I hope for most is hope. Walking helps. I wish I were walking again right now. I think I’d rather be anywhere right now than where I am.

© 2011 Richard Paul Evans

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“There's no doubt Evans knows how to keep the pages turning. A cliff-hanger ending ups the stakes, putting Alan's journey in jeopardy and ensuring readers will come back for the fourth outing. There's no stopping now.”—Booklist

“A fast and pleasurable read with plenty of local color and enough sentiment to evoke a tear or two.”Kirkus

“Though written with a religious tone, The Road to Grace is for people of all beliefs. It is an intriguing story that is simply enjoyable to read.”—Deseret Morning News

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Road to Grace includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


In the third book in Richard Paul Evans’s bestselling series, former advertising executive Alan Christoffersen continues his walk across the United States in an attempt to find solace after the death of his wife and the betrayal of his business partner. When a mysterious woman begins to follow him on his journey, Alan is forced to confront his past and some hard truths about his late wife’s family.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Many characters in both film and literature embark upon journeys as a reaction to unexpected life events. How does Alan’s journey compare to other “journey” narratives you’ve encountered? What is significant about Alan’s determination to cover hundreds of miles by foot?

2. Do you think that Pamela’s explanation of her behavior justifies what she did to McKale? Are her actions understandable?

3. Based on your knowledge of Alan’s history with his former business partner Kyle Craig, were you surprised that Leszek was able to convince him to initiate contact with Kyle? What does this say about how Alan may have felt on a deeper level? How does Leszek’s own story help Alan put things into perspective?

4. Discuss Alan’s reaction to Analise when he wakes in the middle of the night. Did you guess at her secret before she told it to Alan? Could you understand Alan’s reaction? Why are Analise and Alan able to form a bond so quickly? Have you ever experienced a similar, immediate connection with someone?

5. Were there any towns that Alan visited that held particular interest to you? What was interesting about them? Have you been to any of the places he visits during the novel?

6. Discuss Alan’s memories of the one birthday party his father threw for him. Why does he thank his father for throwing this party? What is Alan thankful for? What has happened in the novel up to this point that may have changed Alan’s view of his past?

7. Israel asks an interesting question: How could a just God give an eternal punishment for a sin that took place in a limited time? How do you feel about this question?

8. Of all the different individuals Alan encounters during The Road to Grace, who do you think had the greatest overall effect Alan’s character? Which character did you most enjoy reading?

9. Alan says that some of America’s small towns “were tinder for some of the world’s greatest people and ideas.” Discuss this statement. How might small town living breed greatness in people?

10. How has Alan changed since the beginning of The Walk series? How do you describe the concept of grace? Do you think Alan has found grace?

11. During the ghost tour in Hannibal, Alan learns that the elderly Mr. Lewis has been searching for the ghost of his wife for decades and thinks, “I had seen the possibility of my own ruin.” What do you think Alan means? Why does Mr. Lewis’s behavior have such a great impact on him?

12. Analise tells Alan that she understands his impulse to walk across the country after McKale’s death more than he knows, while Leszek is at first confused by Alan’s journey. How do the different ways characters respond to Alan’s walk reflect the state of their own lives? How does the theme of seeing ourselves reflected in others recur throughout the novel?

13. Were you surprised by the news Alan learns from Falene at the end of the book? Did you expect something like this to happen? How did Evans foreshadow this news earlier in the book? Given what Alan learns at the end of The Road to Grace, where might you see his journey leading next?

14. Discuss the theme of forgiveness in the novel. Consider Alan’s conversation with Pamela and Leszek’s story of his captivity and escape in your response. Have you ever been confronted with the choice of whether or not to forgive? Is there any action that you would consider to be truly unforgivable?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Create a playlist of songs that inspire you and listen to them on a long walk around your neighborhood or a local park. Reflect on any problems or issues you are currently facing and use your walk to begin thinking of steps toward a solution. You’re guaranteed to raise your spirits! At your next book club exchange playlists or share ideas generated during your walk with the rest of the group.

2. Watch the 2011 movie, The Way, directed by Emilio Estevez and starring his father, Martin Sheen, which tells the story of a grief-stricken father who, after the death of his son, decides to walk hundreds of miles through Spain on an ancient spiritual route. Discuss the similarities between this movie and The Road to Grace.

3. The Road to Grace is full of interesting facts about American history and culture—Wall Drug to Walt Disney to Mark Twain. Put together a list of the notable Americans you admire most, and the attractions, town, and museums you’d most like to visit. At your next book club map out a fantasy road trip based on where your members’ interests intersect both geographically and topically. Maybe it will even inspire you to start planning a real trip!

4. To learn more about Richard Paul Evans visit his website at and become a fan of his Facebook page at To find our more about his charity, The Christmas Box International, visit

Customer Reviews

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The Road to Grace 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my favorite of the 3 in The Walk series. I liked reading about the history along Alan's route and it was fun to read how the author "wove" it into the story. This book was fun to read, informational and as always, a meaningful message of hope. I loved "The Road to Grace."
abhoff More than 1 year ago
The book was good but you pay 10 bucks for the ebook and it is around 130 pages...that is a rip off if you ask me, I think when the next one comes out i will get it at the library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didnt see that coming...hurry up book 4!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know how many more books before the end, but I was hoping Alan would have ended his travels. I guess I don't have a lot of patience for "to be continued" stories. It had a lot of history, maybe I've got spoil with the one before. I loved the epilogue. Great writting as always (did not care much for the bold letters). I will continue to be a huge fan of Richard's story telling.
lovestoread17 More than 1 year ago
Alan is still on his mission to walk to Key West. The first problem he encounters is being stalked by his ex mother in law, Pamela who he wants to have nothing to do with but she will not give up. They do meet eventually and she begs to let her tell him the entire story and then ask for forgiveness? While in Mitchell, South Dakota Alan falls sick on the side of the road and an older man Mr. Leszek not only brings him to the hospital, but when he is released he is invited to stay with him until he recovers.While staying and talking with him Alan learns a very valuable lesson about life, trust and forgiveness that he will remember for the rest of his journey and life. The story is extremely emotional and we are reminded of how he has lost everything and what does he have left except his plans to make it to Key West. You won't be able to put it down and will hoping the next book will come out sooner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great in a day and looking forward to #4 of the series
jjjccc More than 1 year ago
Incredible book, the story is captivating and anybody can relate to some aspect of the main character's journey. Absolutely brilliant! I do recommend reading the first two books of the series before reading this one to really grasp the story of this man's walk. Can't wait for the 4th book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I continue to fall deeper in love with Alan. His story would make a remarkable movie. As with the first two books, I will be on pins and needles for a whole year awaiting the next book.
Zazzy1 More than 1 year ago
Richard Paul Evans continues to engage and inspire readers in “The Road To Grace”, the third installment of Alan Cristoffersen’s journey in “The Walk” series”. We again join Alan on his adventure across the country on this leg of the trip that takes him from South Dakota to St. Louis, Mo. Evans does a masterful job at painting a portrait of a man grieving the loss of his beloved wife, his business and his home and leaving everything behind in Seattle and trekking on foot as far away as possible to Key West, Florida. Alan learns valuable lessons from people he meets along the way, beginning with a woman seeking a small piece of redemption that follows his path, and ending in a graveyard with a man who embodies what happens when you can’t let go of grief. The physical effects of his walk begin to take their toil as we learn that another personal crisis is brewing for him. Alan’s heart of gold in the midst of his ever present heartache is mesmerizing and makes the reader fall in love with him all over again. His continuing story told using Evans trademark journaling style, is intertwined with stops in several historic spots across the country which gives the reader an insight to what makes Alan tick as well as enlightening us with little known tidbits about such attractions. I was particularly in enamored with the descriptions about Mark Twain’s hometown. I thoroughly enjoyed this story as I have all of Richard Paul Evans books. More than one of the powerful messages in this book will stay with you long after you finish reading. RPE’s pearls of wisdom touch your soul as well as tug at your heart. I highly recommend this series and eagerly await Part 4 next spring. It’s gonna be a long year!
jlwllm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Life is something that many of us take for granted. A fiction book that hits the hard spots we tend to ignore in life...makes it a must-read. I felt a weight lifted when I finished this book. If you struggle with forgiveness, then you will be hit with reality with this read.
CarolJo More than 1 year ago
Alan Christoffersen continues his journey across the United States by traveling from Custer, South Dakota to St. Louis where he encounters unexpected circumstances! One of the people he encounters is an elderly Sobibor death camp survivor. In this book, Alan learns the meaning of grace and the healing power of forgiveness. I highly recommend The Walk series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone else ready to get
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is messed up.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This #3 book in The Walk series was equally as good as the first two. This series would be an excellent read for those that enjoy Christian Fiction. I have books 1-4. My recent purchase was for a gift for a woman that spiritually is a pillar for me. I know she will embrace this story as much as I did. Can't wait for book #5!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great series. When you read one book you can't wait for the next one. They keeps you on the edge of your seat !
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SandraHeptinstall More than 1 year ago
The Road to Grace There are so many things I have enjoyed in this book. One is the beginning of each chapter it will say Alan Christoffersens Diary. An example of what I mean is on chapter 13 and it reads as the following. “Whether cautionary or exemplary, there has not yet been a life lived that we cannot learn from. It is up to us to decide which ours will be.” Alan is walking from Seattle, WA to Key West, Florida. Along the way he meets many people each with their own story. I will share with you two people he has meant. One is a polish man who has an unimaginable story of being in a concentration camp and losing his whole family. I have to be honest and say his story made me cry. Then we have the one about the differences in being a tramp or a hobo. Hobo’s, do a lot of panhandling and begging for money. Tramps don’t beg unless they have too. Tramps work and travel from job to job. They don’t have a home or car so they hitch hike. To me what I found to be really profound is the author telling us what the Grace of God really is. How he found it and how we can also. Rated G
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