Book Review: The Baggage Handler: A Novel, by David Rawlings
“People usually collect their baggage, but they’d be better off if they dealt with it.” Such is the philosophy of the Baggage Handler in David Rawlings’ parable.
The book tells the story of three individuals who arrive at an unnamed airport on the same day. There is a hotheaded businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting trying to save his job. There is the mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister’s house before her niece’s wedding. There is a teenage boy visiting a university feeling the pressure of pursuing his father’s dream rather than chasing his own.
When they arrive, each one mistakenly grabs the wrong suitcase off the baggage carousel, seeing as how so many look alike. In their attempt to get the right case, they encounter the mysterious Baggage Handler, who shows them that they packed more than clothes in their baggage, and it is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. Before they can leave, the Baggage Handler makes them deal with their issues.
As the Baggage Handler explains, not everyone wants his help in dealing with their baggage.
“Why don’t people want to be helped?”
The Baggage Handler stared past Gillian, the sadness now flickering across his face. He gave a deep sigh. “Because dealing with baggage is hard. It requires effort or swallowing pride. Because some people are so used to carrying their baggage they don’t think they can exist without it. Because some people say they need time to deal with it, but that time never arrives. But overall, for most people, it’s because carrying baggage is just easier, despite the weight.”
The book is a very clever, well written parable. While it is an easy, quick read, it is one that will cause you to think and consider what baggage you might be carrying. The author includes a number of questions in the back that will help you ponder the meaning of the book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.