Book Review: The Baggage Handler

11 Nov

 

There is no doubt why The Baggage Handler won the 2019 Christy Award for First Novel. It is excellent! You ARE going to want to read this!

When three people take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, their lives change forever. 

A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job.

A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister’s house before her niece’s wedding.

And a young artist pursuing his father’s dream so he can keep his own alive.

When David, Gillian, and Michael each take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave.

In this modern-day parable about the burdens that weigh us down, David Rawlings issues an inspiring invitation to lighten the load.

 

David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father-of-three who loves humor and a clever turn-of-phrase.

Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication.

Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face. That starts with his debut novel – The Baggage Handler – a contemporary story that explores one question: What baggage are you carrying?

 

My Impressions:

I had heard a lot of great things about The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings, so I was thrilled to get the chance to read this debut novel. The buzz said it is a parable, and it certainly is. This book made me dig deep into my own attitudes, expectations, experiences, and insecurities — the baggage that is part and parcel of who I am. Insightful, thought-provoking, and a real conversation starter, this book gets a very highly recommended rating from me.

It all begins with three people with lost baggage. Each is facing struggles at the end of their plane rides, and the experience of searching out their lost baggage is not pleasant. Add an enigmatic baggage handler who forces them to face their real selves, and you have a riveting look into what people carry around with them and their inept means of dealing with it. The characters Rawlings created are well-developed, not the stereotypes often found in parables. They were very real and relatable from the opening chapters. Did I see myself in any of them? Maybe. 😉 The baggage they carry, often unrecognized or not of their choice, includes envy, unforgiveness, and unworthiness. The doubts and fears each exhibit come from the depths of the human experience. And that is what makes The Baggage Handler so powerful — its universal message. A light is shown on what we all need to deal with. The setting of the baggage facility is masterfully depicted — you’ll see when you read the book. Not everything is resolved in the way I would have liked, leaving me feeling both hopeful and sad. But isn’t that how it is in real life as well?

Perfect for a book club discussion ( you will want to talk about this book!), The Baggage Handler is a must-read! I cannot wait for more from Rawlings.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

3 Responses to “Book Review: The Baggage Handler”

  1. davidrawlings November 12, 2019 at 3:34 am #

    Thanks so much Beckie! Interesting you point out how it can spark discussion among book clubs. I’ve had a few who’ve had to stop discussion on their specified night because they have to go home!

    Like

    • rbclibrary November 14, 2019 at 7:04 am #

      Hahaha! Looking forward to more great books!

      Like

  2. davidrawlings November 12, 2019 at 3:36 am #

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Thought I’d share a review with everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

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