Book Review: If Paul Were a Cyclist

by Charles Matthew Irving

9/27/2012

Charles Irving’s If Paul Were A Cyclist is the incredible journey of Charles Matthew, a man who lives in a historic hotel with a charming tea room.  His close friend Estelle stops by daily, and gives Charles Matthew both companionship and life lessons through teachings in the Bible.  She house sits for him while he takes long bicycle rides, and it is on these rides that Charles Matthew’s tale really unfolds.

He meets several people on his bike rides, and each one touches his life in some way.  In turn, he touches theirs through his kindness, faith, or simple presence, and each encounter is quietly beautiful and startlingly moving. 

Charles Matthew is a man of faith, and he attends his local church every Sunday, despite the fact that most other members of the congregation don’t seem to notice his presence in their midst.  However, a little boy named Pepe, a woman named Alicia, and a young girl named Chris all notice him, since he takes time from his life to make a difference in theirs, no matter how small.

He volunteers to use his passion as a cyclist to ride three hundred kilometers to help Chris go to a cancer center in another city, as she is suffering from a particularly debilitating form of the disease and is asking people to ride 10K to help her raise money to go to the center.  When no one else can seem to find the time to do even the 10K ride, Charles Matthew becomes overtaken by a feeling of being touched by God, and he offers to ride from border-to-border across the state ofTexasto raise money for the young lady’s cause.

Much of the book leads up to this event, but along the way, numerous inspiring and interesting things happen to Charles Matthew.  The author uses Charles Matthew’s story as a way to impart the message to the reader that every good deed, no matter how small, is noticed and appreciated by those around us.  A truly moving and beautiful story that will have readers crying tears of both sadness and joy, If Paul Were A Cyclist is an incredible book about faith, hope, and the love of those around us.

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