Promise of Departure

Promise of DepartureA Broken Mechanic Packs His Motorcycle And Heads To Haiti To Repair His Own Crumbling Life My Dearest Little Maggie,I M Sorry In Ways You May Never Understand Please Know That I Never Wanted To Leave YouIt Wasn T The Traditional Birthday Letter Greg Had Written His Daughter Four Times Before But Traditions, Like Everything Else, Had Utterly UnraveledAdrift In A Workaday Society He No Longer Recognizes, Greg Is Rattled In Unexpected Ways By The Heartbreak In Haiti That Clear January Morning When He Spots An Unusual Opportunity In The Looped Nightly News, Something He Can Do A Small Way He Just Might Be Able To HelpFacing Divorce And An Anesthetized Hereafter, Greg Shucks Tradition And Packs His Motorcycle, Headed To A Shattered Country To Unexpectedly Find The One Thing He S Abandoned

LW Montgomery spent his youth lost in the library He would spend years sacking groceries, building hard drives, and co founding the game studio Gearbox Software before returning to his first love.

[KINDLE] ❁ Promise of Departure By L.W. Montgomery –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 282 pages
  • Promise of Departure
  • L.W. Montgomery
  • English
  • 20 April 2019

10 thoughts on “Promise of Departure

  1. says:

    I was provided with a complimentary copy of the book for review Promise of Departure is a rare animal indeed It is, at times, humorous and comforting, beguilingly so, stripping bare the darker elements of our nature in such stark, raw detail as to force self examination of one s belief systems, a forceful fact check of our own personal and most trusted, accepted ideologies A paper thin fairy tale it is not What it is, rather, is a dark and wholly honest observation of the oft unforeseen pitfalls of the American Dream not many discuss openly.Retired at the age of thirty seven, Greg has everything he s ever desired to in life financial freedom, a healthy, happy family, and the accomplishment of having achieved personal goals established as a child To his dismay, however, he discovers an overwhelming sense of emptiness in this effortless existence Depressed and alone in his withdrawal from the workaday world he once knew, he appears to teeter on the edge of mental instability, often fantasizing of suicide, and seemingly uncertain of an unchallenged future he no longer desires It is his relationships with those closest to him which suffer the greatest cost, and when his wife files for divorce, Greg succumbs to a very primal instinct fight or flight He does not fight He leaves the not unsubstantial investments accumulated in his lucrative days to his wife and daughter before loading up his motorcycle to set sail for uncharted waters Greg wanders the far Western United States for a while, settling down in Portland, Oregon with a friend where he remains on the lam from a family back in the state of Texas he ironically believes he s protected from heartache of a broken home It s when tragedy strikes Haiti in early 2010 that he sees an opportunity to offer up what little usefulness he feels he still possesses in an unlikely and most unusual fashion he will travel to Haiti to repair and maintain the fleets of motorbikes the locals rely upon in their day to day lives Masquerading as a generous display of selflessness, Greg s dubious intentions are generally regarded as respectful to his friends, if not odd, but he alone commits himself to this act with the understanding that he will likely not survive the journey, instead seeing it as an opportunity to end his frustration and despondence in a final act of charity.Throughout the novel, Greg deals with themes not uncommon to many Gen Xers today finding success at an early age only to ask themselves What now as they wrestle with the knotty untangling of self imposed guilt, uncertain if the efforts, the very work itself, ever truly warranted the rewards Paradoxically, Greg suffers from low self esteem and a shaky view of what feels like a bleak future not only for himself, but for society in general As an example, he defends his decisions to shun social media as an acceptable replacement for what he believes is meaningful interaction, instead preferring a classic form of letter writing that appears in several instances throughout the novel He describes the inherent benefits of a so called technology cleanse , and even stops looking up simple scientific queries, content to examine them himself or chew them over first , as he puts it Many issues like these are often humorous in their innocence and inclusion, but the book deals with heavy realities in ways not immediately comparable to other works today The cold nature of divorce and the limited prospect of single parenting from a male perspective is discussed in raw detail Suicide is an omnipresent theme and met head on It is not an easy read at times, and is simply put, extraordinarily sugar free in its delivery It is the steady dissection of a thinking, feeling person who, once away from the pursuit of said American Dream, begins to think and feel in the broad, lateral ways he used to In that light, the novel is also very much a sad reflection of a slow descent into a world of social isolation, the story of a man cloistered from the day to day working world that provides most people with their network of friends and personal interactions.Through either direct dialogues with himself, or in deeper, near pitch perfect conversation with Beth, a volunteer doctor in Haiti, Greg reflects on his midlife chrysalis , as he describes it, and his disappointment in what most people strive for all their lives Initially, this voice contrasts sharply to the narrator s outlook on just about everything, but as the story unfolds, the two voices draw nearer to a harmonious center of someone humbled by the destruction in Haiti, an open mind seeing the world a bit clearly through the rediscovery of some small semblance of life in the empty inner hell he has created for himself The love story that develops organically throughout the later half of the novel was admittedly somewhat unexpected, though realistically portrayed in a manner or less befitting the work This chance meeting with Beth is the real catalyst here a slap across the face, a reminder of what truly matters to Greg The proper secondary character of the novel, however, is an inanimate object a motorbike that Greg arranges and ships to Haiti to operate as his mobile base of operations Loaded to almost comical proportions, the bike acts as a relative anchor for him, his trusty steed, and the very conveyance by which he is able to lend his rather limited assistance throughout Haiti Greg thinks of the motorcycle as a partner, not a mere piece of hardware, but a traveling companion offering up the facsimile of a friend, a form of comfort I imagine that to those who also ride, the story will find concrete connections in the intricacy of the details I personally do not, though found the technical aspects he deals with interesting and compelling enough to never mire the page.In summary, Promise of Departure is in this reviewer s opinion, an exercise an experiment in written word that isn t easily discussed without laying bare essential clues of the intended goal of the author There are many, and the observant reader will likely come away having heard a very different tale than the casual reader It can be a challenging read It will not leave you warm and cozy at points, though for some readers so troubled as Greg finds himself, it may often do precisely that On than one occasion, the comfortable and personable nature of the storytelling lulled me into forgetting this was not in fact someone s very personal travel diary This, I believe, was my strongest reaction to the book it made me forget these were not very real people in a very real, often cold, world Ultimately, this is one of the braver debuts I ve seen in quite some time Greg would likely call it calculated stupidity I call it a calculated success.

  2. says:

    First things first I need to mention I received this book from Goodreads giveaways I can actually give the plot summary for this book and my review in one sentence This is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance An Inquiry Into Values, Jr Simple as that A little detailed description A guy called Greg quits his job, leaves almost everything to his wife with whom he is in the middle of divorce and daughter and goes to Haiti devastated by an earthquake with his bike hoping to help local people the best way he can by fixing their vehicles This book is about his journey and his self discovery.I can understand Greg Sometimes I feel like getting away from everything too, in this I can relate I can also understand and support his thoughts and actions What I do not understand is that while he is supposed to be a great motorcycle expert and quite competent when it comes to fixing bikes, he looks like a complete rookie when it comes to riding it and making mistakes not every first time bike riders do Other than this minor nitpick, I like the book Solid 3.5 stars rounded up for this being the first book of the author.

  3. says:

    Book Review Promise of Departure by L W Montgomery 4 Stars and a Grab Your Riding Gear Shout out The book begins with a picture of a typed letter to Janet from Greg, telling her he is stepping out of the picture as a result of his own inability to deal with their divorce I liked this unique start, this presentation of the letter, it made me want to see what other surprises would be included and I wasn t disappointed Chapter 1 begins with Greg fussing over having dropped his motorcycle while off loading from the ship that had only just brought him to Haiti Right away this character begins to immerge, flawed and realistic, mentally past his edge that was once sharp and dedicated to his career and his family and clearly battling depression and alcoholism while not falling into any clich patterns but instead, drawing me along into an intriguing storyline that would not allow me to put this book down.I appreciated the author s witty prose as he crafted enlightening yet brief flashbacks to establish the needed history behind Greg s decision to write the letter and to venture to disaster torn Haiti The supporting characters and the very descriptive imagery as the storyline moved through emotional highs and lows, despair, hopelessness and Greg s search for himself were written with great skill and talent and presented through Greg s eyes The characters were so completely human and realistic that relating and feeling a connection to them was natural As the reader, I felt like a passenger on the back of Greg s motorcycle while he showed me Haiti after the earthquake tragedy of 2010, the people that lived there and some of the volunteers, including Beth and Ben Upon meeting Beth, a dialogue that was so natural and realistic occurs between them and Greg is greatly affected by all that he sees and experiences in the company of her and the other members of her volunteer medical unit over the course of just a few days True to a well written protagonist, Greg sticks to his original mission and soon meets a colorful character named Ben From here the story moves a bit quicker as Greg finds where he is needed most, revisits working on things with Janet and becoming part of his daughter s life again As the last page is turned and you see the back cover art of this wonderful novel, you can t help but wish for The way this story discusses the profound impacts of career on family life and on an individual struggling to find the right balance in both, the resulting failed marriage that was based not on sensational events but on a slow deterioration and the great love of a father for his daughter was so real, so not dramatic and so refreshingly presented The complexities, the reality in the issues and the author s skill in crafting imagery of places and events was exceptional I personally would love to read a sequel to this book just to check in on Greg again In the battle to rise above the millions of authors and books vying for number one these days, it was quite courageous to leave out vampires, monsters, psychopaths, elves and the like and write a real story like this reviewed by Debra L Hartmann, Owner of The Pro Book Editor, published author, aspiring blogger Stay tuned for an exclusive Talk Radio with NO Radio Author Interview with Mr Montgomery on my show this week

  4. says:

    If I could give this a 3.5 star rating, I would I liked it than just 3 stars worth Montgomery s debut novel grabs you from the very first page in which our protagonist, Greg, writes a letter to his soon to be ex wife to semi adequately explain his reasons for disappearing The opening of Promise of Departure which delineates both the inciting event and numerous conflicts and, thus, is simultaneously satisfying and tantalizing grabs you from the get go We journey alongside Greg as he journeys to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tries to redefine his idea of happiness He is armed with little than his passport which he promptly loses , his motorcycle, and any essentials that can fit in the bike s storage boxes At times pitiable who doesn t miss their kids when they re away , often infuriating how could he just leave his very comfortable life and daughter , always well meaning what else can you say about a guy who wants to help the devastated Haitians , Greg gives us a glimpse of a person who has achieved his dreams although his marriage has fallen apart and now needs something else to keep him going Promise of Departure is a nice story about man s search for meaning and the paradoxes that present themselves when we are forced to part from that which we love.Story Pacing 7This is a road trip novel Most of the story revolves around Greg s first week in Haiti and his mis adventures I enjoyed his recollections about the various events that caused him to give up his job and journey to Haiti I also liked reading about the different people he meets There is A LOT of talk on motorcycles mainly because his bike fixing skills are what he offers as help to people There is A LOT of thinking Greg s stream of consciousness was tedious at times There is so much thinking that satellite characters comment on Greg s tendencies to overthink, too.Characters 7Despite his jibber jabber, and although some people will never truly understand why he leaves his life in Dallas, Greg is a likable character for the very sole reason that he means well He wants to help he has the same insecurities that we do he is actually in Haiti rather than thinking he should be in Haiti The colourful cast of characters that Greg encounters add spice to his travels and most are memorable.Setting 8I m not sure if Montgomery has actually visited Haiti or how accurate his descriptions of the island are, but I enjoyed learning a little bit about the island Haiti, itself, is like a character, teeming with possibilities and hope in the midst of such devastation I would have liked a bit information about Haiti beyond the scenery and the people presumably Greg would have done some research about the place.Style Writing 7Montgomery s prose is easy to understand His voice shines very clearly in his narrator s liberal use of italicized emphasized thoughts, informative asides, and parenthetical ideas He has long stretches of narrative, which were not always to my liking I noted a few typographical errors, but none so major to irk the discerning reader I would happily read works by this author.Learnability Teachability 7If you enjoyed Cormac McCarthy s novel The Road or the film One Week, which starred Joshua Jackson, you may enjoy this story POTENTIAL TEACHABLESHistory and geography of Haiti the earthquake and its aftermath motorcycles and motorcycle parts volunteer organizations like the UN, Doctors Without Borders, etc mapping out locales based on author s description California Mexico border tourist spots.

  5. says:

    I found this book to be a true home run One of the ways I can always tell a winner is my not wanting it to end and this read certainly fit the bill.As other reviewers have mentioned it s a complex piece with real characters dealing with real questions and issues we can all relate to No cardboard cutouts here or facade and pretense which I find most refreshing Our protagonist Greg has hit the wall mentally and is running away from an all too lifelike troubled marriage in attempt to assist those ravaged by the Haitian tragedy of 2010 He s an extremely likable principle with his openness and honesty pulling you in as the pages turn At any moment sheer elation will be displaced by utter depths of despair as each layer of the onion is peeled away Of particular joy is the banter budding relationship between Greg and Beth, a volunteer doctor also wishing to assist those injured in Haiti.For those who have ever enjoyed traveling via motorcycle this book will resonate on an even higher level Montgomery s grasp of the subtleties of riding is almost borderline spiritual, and his knowledge of the BMW brand is particularly comprehensive If he didn t write so well I d accuse him of being a crack BMW mechanic in another life.Bottom line if you want to read a vapid paint by numbers novel while waiting on a delayed flight at your airport of choice, this book is not for you However, if you re the kind of person who values content, real emotion, deeply interesting characters, witty dialogue, and keen settings this is a wonderful page turner I look forward to Montgomery s next work.

  6. says:

    This guy basically wrote a new zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance My dad and I have always been big into harleys and he made me read that back in the day I liked zen, and it was a good book and all but a litlte long The bike parts were the best Well, this guy wrote what s like a whole new generations version of that book I m not big into romance stuff, so that was the one thing I didn t really care about much It s real sounding and not how most movies or books deal with it which is fine, its just not my thing But the bike stuff he gets so totally right it makes up for it Most guys I know talk a big game and never screw up and they are totally perfect everytime they toss a leg over Reality is that most real folks who ride mess up all the time This guy nails that in this book He has alot of problems and talks about it in ways you actually think and feel about stuff like that It really remmdinded me of that motorcycle diaries movie about Che I had to go watch that after finishing this book and there s tons in this book that reminds me of it like the bike stuff and helping people Learned lots about haiti I dind t know about Made me want to ride Great stuff.

  7. says:

    I received this book from a giveaway on Goodreads I suppose this book just wasn t for me, as it was hard to get into it Couldn t really find myself liking the characters, the main one being too impulsive and the female being too coarse.In terms of writing, some of the phrases and wording didn t seem to fit with me this atmospheric collection formed and completing the journey Unsure if grammar or just style that I found odd In addition, there were times where I simply couldn t follow the descriptions the narrator was giving Sometimes he gave too much unneeded information, and sometimes he didn t give enough for me to paint a complete picture in my head.

  8. says:

    I won this book in a Goodreads FirstRead giveaway.Promise of departure the road to realization for our main character Greg, who on his travels wonder about the past present and future in a not too deep but in way it s easy to relate to Greg travels far and wide on his bike and though the storyline isn t always full speed ahead I was never bored expect for a few times when i found the descreptions of the motorcycles a little too detailed This book definately exeeded my expectations thoughtful, reflective and a good read.

  9. says:

    I was one of the winner of the giveaway Promise of Departure, one of my favorite books The story is some of the best I can find, especially in my country My family enjoyed reading it, even the young ones.Promise of Departure serves comedy, tears, and laughs for the readers to enjoy Though there are a few part that I didn t understand But that s okay, though I ve re read it for a few times and now I came to understand about those parts.Well, I can only recommend this book to all of you Cheers

  10. says:

    I do not usually read literary fiction, but this foray hasn t let me down.Despite my minuscule knowledge of motorcycles and the culture surrounding them, it didn t take me long to get engrossed in this book Yes, all the shop talk is a bit hum drum and if you don t know anything about motorcycle culture it can take you out of the action, but there are only a few occasional where the talk becomes so technical that your eyes start to glaze over And it never lasts for long.However, the real draw of this book comes from the emotional journey that the protagonist, Greg, goes through There are two scenes that make this book than just worth reading and the first comes from the beginning on the book, while Greg is explaining the events that brought him to Haiti I don t often cry when I read, but there s a scene in here that made me make a scene on the bus No explanation spoilers would be involved My second favorite scene is the very last one The last twenty pages tie you up in an emotionally satisfied knot with a few loose ends and then the last paragraph makes your heart leap While definitely not an emotional roller coaster there were no loops and the change in tone was gradual, not sudden it s probably accurate to say it was an emotional motorcycle ride A bit bumpy, but satisfying.If you like travel essays, this is a pretty darn good one to pick up Good job to L W Montgomery.After reading it, all I really want to know is Who was the last one to make the bell ring

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