Charlie & The Quill

Follow That Arrow: Notes on Getting Here from There Book Review

February 21, 2017

How many of us follow any arrows even when the signs are so obvious? I know sometimes I don’t.

I had some time today, so I decided to get my thoughts that have been swirling in my mind about this book out. Months, which might as well be decades ago, a good friend asked me if I would be interested in reading her good friend’s book. I said sure and read it the second I received it. Now, a million years later, I’m finally getting around to sharing this book with you.


Title: Follow That Arrow: Notes on Getting Here from There
Author: Gwen Van Velsor

Initial Thoughts:

This was a really easy, smooth read. It didn’t leave my wondering what she meant nor did it leave me feeling frustrated. Yet, it’s been keeping me thinking about it months later after my initial read.

Nothing about the writing was complicated especially given a very complicated topic about life and how love can die in a blink of an eye. The author’s husband left without any warning and left her life in what I assume to be an emotionally painful upheaval. The guy didn’t know why he did it, he just did.

I honestly wanted to know why he left and was hoping she’d divulge in this mystery by the end of the book. I also was waiting for Gwen to bash this guy to pieces which she never, ever did! What even!!! She barely expressed any anger, not even an ounce of passive aggressive anger. I could sense she was shocked and sad, but not the kind of sadness that kept her in bed unable to function at all for months on end.

To be honest, I kept reading because I wanted to know like the dirty little secrets about Gwen’s marriage that she never really talked about. DARN IT! This part kind of irked me but it was the immature, nosy bastard inside of me who wanted to know what she wouldn’t tell me. I then felt horrible about it because why would I want her to share this painful part of her with her readers? A dissolution of marriage is so private and painful and I felt glad that she never spoke about her husband again after the initial mentioning of him.

Thoughts After Reading:

I felt like I had read a version of “Eat, Love, Pray” and even though I never really read “Eat, Love, Pray”, I’ve heard enough about it to make that comparison.

My first reaction was: OK, that’s great.
My second reaction was to talk about it with my husband.
My third reaction was: I’m not sure what to really think about this!!!

It was well written. Easy to read. I felt like I was traveling with her on her journey. She did a lot of walking by the way. She also met what I presume to be a really hot young man who was in love with her and wanted to whisk her away into the most romantic life ever. God, I really wanted her to be with this young man!!!!!

I was also slightly disappointed that she didn’t go “wild” in her “love” part like the “Eat, Love, Pray” lady did. I almost felt like if my husband were to up and leave me like that, being that he’s the only man I’ve ever been with, I might as well. (Ok, I’m joking mom, I’ll just become a nun).

Anyway, I felt happy for Gwen that she found what she needed which was mainly healing and herself. She went about it in a great way which was to hike a million miles and she made some great friends along the way. I’m glad she didn’t plunge into despair and a feeling of never being able to be herself. I felt proud that she was able to keep living and that her self-worth and self-identity weren’t so intertwined and DEFINED by her husband!

Months Later:

I am thinking this book had a bigger effect on me that I initially thought because I’m still thinking about it months later.

There are some poignant lessons to be learned from Gwen. The lady’s husband left her suddenly without any rhyme or reason! This is brutal and horrible and mean. But, the way Gwen handled this situation is what grace looks like. She didn’t burn his belongings, she didn’t poison him, and she didn’t even speak poorly of him! She was angry and sad but turned these emotions to find the better version of herself and I honestly don’t know many people who could do this in this kind of situation. People get hurt all the time and our first reaction is to hurt that person back. Maybe she suppressed it but I know some of those feelings came out when she was on her million mile walk.

She never lashed out at anyone. She didn’t treat her hot, young lover poorly because of what happened in her marriage. She just seemed to be always mindful, polite, kind, and graceful and that seriously blows my mind. Her emotional control was spectacular and she never let on that she fell apart into one big mess even if she was one big mess inside.

I don’t know Gwen, but I know her friend Marie and friends of a feather flock together. I assume Gwen is like Marie and without meeting either of them, I can almost sense they have a good soul. When shit hits the fan, the way you handle the situation speaks to what kind of person you are. Do you want to stab everyone in the face for your problems or do you try to work through it like a mature adult?

I also thought to myself, “If I was having a hard time, would I want to talk to Gwen about it?” I think yes, totally. She has this kind of gentle wisdom and perspective that isn’t violent, brutal, judgmental, or superior to you kind of attitude. I felt like Gwen was easy to relate to even if you haven’t been in her situation. But, if you are in the process of rediscovering yourself, I feel like she’s the person who can talk you through it.

Final Verdict:

My initial thoughts were not all too exciting. But, my final thoughts took so long to formulate because I think I needed to read beyond the words. Whoa, not trying to get all weirdly fourth dimension, but there was definitely something to be seen past what she wrote.

I think Gwen is like a warm cup of tea. If you are going through some personal things where you need reassurance that things will be ok on the other side, this book will really help you see that. If you need inspiration on how to find yourself and love yourself again, especially if you’re not into making all the love to all the men all over the globe, Gwen will help inspire you.

I still think that she’s incredible for really keeping the dignity of what was marriage once was. We are easily too quick to get mad at our spouses and when we do head for divorce, things can get ugly real quick. I think Gwen showed us that even if a marriage fails, there was a reason why we fell in love and got married in the first place. We should uphold that moment and give it the respect it deserves even if things changed.

Definitely worth the read and I’m confident it will get you thinking twice or three times about it over the next few months!


If you’re interested in reading this book, you can check it out here on Amazon!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Marie February 21, 2017 at 1:24 PM

    Thank you my friend. I love it. She is most certainly like a cup of tea!

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