Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart

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Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010

In a ten-month time span in 1997 and 1998, Neil Peart lost his 19-year-old daughter to a single-car accident and his wife to cancer. He was devastated.

Peart is best-known as the drummer for the Canadian rock band Rush. He's also their lyricist. Yet Ghost Rider, his chronicle of healing from his terrible losses, reveals talents barely hinted at in his music career.

Peart is a wonderful prose writer and a capable stylist. In unpretentious, vivid prose, he recounts the journey that helped his wounded spirit heal: He rode his motorcycle more than 50,000 miles across the North American continent -- not running from his pain but simply moving, feeling, studying the various landscapes of American desert and Canadian icescapes and the lush, rain-fed atmospheres of the Pacific Northwest.

For anyone who has grieved, this book can be an invaluable resource. In the opinion of this reviewer, it's worth a thousand self-help tomes. Peart doesn't preach about how one should recover from loss; he just engages the readers, letting them know how his trek led him out of darkness. Ride with him -- even if you've never been on a motorcycle in your life.

Written by John Mark E.