By: Serge Roetheli
Publisher: Dunham Books
Publication Date: September 2012
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: October 8, 2013
The 25,000 Mile Love Story, Serge Roetheli’s memoir, is a clear message to the reader: embrace your dreams and make them realities.
Before delving into the meat of his story, Mr. Roetheli sets the tone of his heart-felt passion in the preface: ‘These few lines are indeed more than just the preface of a book. They are an outpouring of love for a man and a woman, who have always managed to find the means of attaining their wildest dreams—to go farther than anyone had ever dared to go, to run longer than anyone had ever dared to run, and to do it out of passion, for themselves and for others…’
Between the years of 2000-2005, Serge and Nicole Roetheli set out on their mission of passion to run the world. The feat took 1910 days and miles covered were 25,422 (Serge on foot; Nicole by his side on her motorbike). To put things into perspective, the daily miles Mr. Roetheli accomplished equate to running a marathon a day for five years. Through an insistent and resounding message of personal conviction and perseverance, Mr. Roetheli describes his epic achievement through poignant prose and many passages fueled with purpose. Each chapter feeds and builds not only from the momentum of the previous, but portrays a deeply rooted tenacity to succeed.
Mr. Roetheli’s deliverance of his incredible journey is focused. He takes his time telling the entire story. The layout is equivalent to that of a brick setter who sets one brick upon the next and does not quit until his task is complete. There is no drag to bog the reader down where he or she is forced to read through flowery imagery or silly anecdotes. Rather the content is raw and direct as near-defeats are often depicted. Roetheli has a precise and gradual pace and chose to start his story with background of his growing up from young boy to man. He carefully chooses his words and masters showing the reader his ever-present love of the outdoors. The latter is described through his deeply seeded (and perhaps genetic) disposition he inherited from his mother. He describes ‘Mama Nora,’ his mother, as his beacon of encouragement and role model when it came to reaching out for the impossible and the importance of never giving up until the feat has been attained. Two days short of her seventy-fifth birthday, Nora Roetheli passed away. The lifelong gift of inspiration she bestowed upon her son was even though she was well into her 70’s, she still managed to conquer formidable climbs; like the 4,027-meter peak ‘Allalin,’ mere days before her passing.
Mr. Roetheli has written an engaging memoir. He achieved a humble tone throughout when describing his personal accomplishments. Instead of sounding like a braggart, he is insightful and shared what inspired him by prefacing each chapter with quotes from notable (and iconic) philosophers—Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Henry David Thoreau, to name a couple. There is a fine line between pride and ego-centricities. Mr. Roetheli may be both, but throughout this book there is a tangible sense that his purpose in writing this was to deliver an outstanding and inspirational story toward the importance of purpose. Add solid writing ability to your list of achievements, Mr. Roetheli. This was well written and an extremely inspirational read.
Quill says: The 25,000 Mile Love Story is very much a story of love. However, Mr. Roetheli has managed to deliver a broader understanding of ‘love’ that transcends well beyond its conventional meaning.