Departure from Routine
By LW Montgomery
Createspace, $12.99, 282 pages
Greg faces an existential crisis. Once a successful programmer and co-owner of a lucrative gaming company, he’s now wealthy, underemployed, insomniac, alcoholic, extremely unhappy, and soon-to-be divorced. It is, in this state of mind, that he sees a story on the news about the earthquake in Haiti. In a situation that would cause anger and distress in most populations, the Haitians were celebrating! Inspired by the footage, Greg decides to abandon everything—his marriage, his daughter, his home—to go to Haiti and fix motorcycles. He buys a rugged motorcycle, loads it with tools, and makes his way into a country where he doesn’t speak the language and knows no one.
“…anything routine has a sneaky way of stealing our oxygen. Our focus narrows in, day after day, and we stop lifting our heads to look around. We stop thinking beyond our boxes and the hours left in them.”
Promise of Departure is the story of Greg’s exodus from “the work-a-day environment” that has been stifling his soul. His success, affluence, and the certainty they engender were shackles from which he must escape in order to be happy. It is important for the reader to sympathize with Greg and his plight; much of the protagonist’s journey is internal rather than external, and the other characters function as an audience for Greg’s explanations and musings. Eventually Greg finds peace—and a really sweet motorcycle—in service to others.