Category Archives: Where the Road Bends

Review: Where the Road Bends by David Rawlings

Title: Where the Road Bends by David Rawlings
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 297 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


How did I get here? 

He ripped back the zip, his heart pounding as red dust trickled in and landed on his face. He stood, brushing the dust from his eyes, a sense of vertigo launching itself up his spine. One step from the swag and his eyes snapped open. He started to lean into a void. Over a cliff. 

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.


Where the Road Bends by David Rawlings is an intriguing novel of healing.

Fifteen years after college graduation, four friends fulfill their promise and reunite for a trip to the beautiful Australian outback. Their trip is off to a rocky start when Andy Summers barely makes their flight. Each of them are also struggling with where they are in life. Eliza Williams is grappling with a career decision.  Lincoln Horne has risen to the pinnacle of his profession but personal happiness remains elusive. Bree Carter is happily married with two children yet she is haunted by a long ago decision. And Andy Summers is running from something and he is counting on the trip to escape from his problems in the US.

After finally arriving at their desolate yet beautiful Australian destination in the Red Centre,  the tension between the friends continues to rise. Andy is boastful of his success and he is hopeful he will resurrect a long dead relationship. Bree is fearful of the excursions planned by their tour guides, Eddie and Sloaney, yet she gamely attempts to enjoy their events. Eliza is contemplative and hopes to find answers that will provide happiness when she returns home. Andy is secretive and resentful of Lincoln since he blames his friend for a long ago choice that has set him on his current path.

After a sudden windstorm, all four friend awake the next day and are shocked to discover they have been mysteriously transported to different places in the desert.  Their attempts to return to their base camp are continually thwarted but eventually, help arrives in a very mystifying way. Only by confronting their baggage will they find their way back but will all of them overcome their respective issues?

Where the Road Bends is an engrossing novel with and imaginative storyline.  The characters are flawed and not all of them are sympathetic or likable.  The setting is vividly brought to life and serves as a barren yet stunning  backdrop for the friends to confront their problems.  David Rawlings brings this thought-provoking novel to a bit of an abrupt conclusion that leaves some lingering questions.

An overall fast-paced and enjoyable novel that will leave readers reflecting on their own life’s journey.

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Filed under Contemporary, David Rawlings, Fiction, Rated B, Review, Thomas H Cook, Thomas Nelson Publishing, Where the Road Bends