A trip to Appalachia to investigate a religious "miracle" becomes a transformational spiritual journey for one unsuspecting Londoner in this modern tale that touches on the mysterious questions in our lives—a poignant, wry novel infused with the humor and warm skepticism of Nick Hornby’s How to Be Good.
Dumped, depressed, and bored with his dead-end job, Londoner John Mallory decides to shake up his life. He accepts his journalist brother’s offer to help him on a documentary film investigating a pastor in rural Tennessee who claims he can walk on water. Locals are convinced it’s the Lord’s work. John and his brother, Steve, have their doubts, and hope the film will answer the question: Is it a true miracle—or a giant hoax?
When John arrives in Appalachia, he discovers a few unexpected surprises, including a charming hotel receptionist who catches his eye and the charismatic, deeply religious pastor who coyly dodges the fact-focused investigation. The deeper John becomes immersed in this charming bucolic community that is so different from the harried, cold London he knows, the further conflicted he becomes. At a spiritual crossroads, John must decide what he wants: to force a decent man to prove his faith and return to an empty urban life—or to explore the possibilities this new world of mystery, warmth, and faith-focused life holds?
Jacob Beaver’s beautiful and witty novel challenges the assumptions and certainties of a logic-driven, mainstream urban culture, offering an inviting alternative perspective that is open to mystery and new beginnings.
“Beaver writes well with very vivid descriptions of people, places, and states of mind. Unexpected, strangely satisfying, and great fun!”
— Lisa Alther, author of About Women: Conversations Between a Writer and a Painter and Kinflicks
“The Man Who Walked on Water is a gentle, curious, attentive, and intelligent book. Jacob Beaver sees Southern Appalachia through fresh eyes, and he’s got a wonderfully straightforward approach to the old problem of being a hurt person in a beautiful world. I loved it.”
— James Whorton, author of Frankland