Nicholas Sparks hit a snag while writing his most recent novel. He diverted his attention to the mail and saw a brochure from the alumni office of his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. The offering is a three-week trip around the world titled "Heaven and Earth." The idea kindles a fire within him, and the spark ignites his passion. His wife, Cathy, responsible for the daily needs of five children, declines to go with him. But she encourages him to take the trip as a break from his hectic work schedule. Micah, Sparks's brother, packs his bag and the two set off for "Lands of the Sky Worshippers."
Sparks writes with special fervor about their experiences during the globe-circling event. Micah's fun-loving personality contrasts with the introspectiveness of his brother. Together, they absorb the vast panorama of knowledge open to them. But each reacts to places they visit in a different manner. While Micah sees the humor in a centuries-old statuary, Nicholas cites the historic value to civilization that each place has given. From ruins of the Incan and Mayan tribes to the mysteries of Easter Island, the brothers visit cultural wonders and relate to them with reflections upon their childhood.
Not only is THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER a journal of their travels to exotic places, it also contains personal memories jarred into their present by the sights they witness. The Sparks brothers grew up in a family that, today, would be hard put to term functional. Poverty was the veil that clouded them from birth into adolescence. Both parents struggled to earn a subsistence living for their two sons and daughter Dana.
The brothers recall a family vacation to the Grand Canyon while they bask on the beach in Roratonga, in the South Pacific. The story of a family crammed into a Volkswagen for the trip, traversing steamy desert by day and freezing in the rolling motel at night, conjures frightful pictures. Their father, a scholarly man, can show a volatile side when his children misbehave. A park ranger demands their exit when the three perch on rocks outside safe limits and terrify other tourists. Dad's rage erupts to a DEFCON 5.
THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER is laced with photos that provide the