ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Carriage Driver 2 by Michael Friedman Book Review

Updated on July 19, 2018
PegCole17 profile image

Peg Cole is a self-published author who writes true and fiction stories, book reviews and how-to articles.

The Carriage Driver is a collection of short stories about the afterlife.
The Carriage Driver is a collection of short stories about the afterlife. | Source

The second book in The Carriage Driver Series is a collection of stories rich with detail and empathy, about people from different walks of life. Each has faced some of the best and worst of what life dishes out. Once their name is called, the dearly departed are presented a different possibility for where they might wish to go. Their next journey begins with a ride in a horse-drawn carriage driven by Captain Griffin Chaney, pulled by his trusty white steed.

During the ride, questions are answered, options are offered and life begins anew with an infinite number of possibilities in which the traveler chooses a destination based on their tastes, talents and deepest desires.

The author touches on the lives of those in high standings and positions of power, of the highly intelligent and privileged and of those whose disadvantages are many, whose possessions and comforts are few. He relates tales of people who have been on a continuous struggle for survival and those who seem to have it all, each of whom face the same inevitable end when their time arrives.

Horse drawn carriage in Charlotte, North Carolina
Horse drawn carriage in Charlotte, North Carolina | Source

Among my many favorites in this collection is the story, The Weathervane, in which the carriage driver picks up a woman from the rest home where she spent her final years. Her journey allows her time to contemplate her future and decide where she will begin eternity.

As she steps out of the carriage, she’s transformed into the younger self that has resided for years only within her memories. She finds herself wearing a favorite floral print summer dress, standing on a beach with swaying palms, warm tropical breezes and the familiar cries of drifting sea gulls. There she reunites with and is wrapped in the loving arms of her long since dearly departed husband where, once again, they share a world of their former happiness.

This is the kind of story that gives the surviving family of the deceased hope that their loved one truly rests not only in peace, but is enveloped in long-remembered prior days of true happiness.

A weathervane on the portico of a Texas nursing home
A weathervane on the portico of a Texas nursing home

One might wonder what a vision of Heaven would be like. A child's view of Paradise might include streets lined with lollipops, mountains of chocolate, soft baby dolls, and purple bicycles. For an artist, a singer, a ball player, a corporate executive, each might envision a different place as ideal. In The Carriage Driver, those in transition get to choose where they will go and what will be their forever after.

Nuelle

Photo By Saffron Blaze
Photo By Saffron Blaze | Source

In another story, The Gutter Boy, Dylan meets a different outcome. He finds that life doesn’t have to be filled with abuse and disrespect after he encounters two kind doctors, a husband and wife team. Through them, he discovers that his time to move into the next world has not yet arrived. He experiences only a change in his surroundings and circumstance through which he’s destined to lead a richer way of life and repay his debt with future kindness.

Some stories parallel current events, as they do in The Treasure Hunter, a tale about a man who goes missing while in search of buried gold. The author shares that he borrows from the lives of his readers to bring out the harsh realities of life and the impact our choices have on our outcomes. For the treasure hunter, his choice determines his eventual fate; an analogy of the choices we all make as we pass through.

Clock in an antique store with The Carriage Driver theme
Clock in an antique store with The Carriage Driver theme

Each character has a chance to meet Captain Griffin Chaffey, a veteran of the War Between the States who, after losing his own life, remained behind in the battlefield helping others find their way. He accepts his assignments cheerfully accompanied by Nuelle, a white horse whose intuition and spirit shines throughout as she munches on shared apples and trots to their destinations. Sometimes, she enjoys a romp in the surf as part of her reward for a job well done. Other times, she must face the uncertainties of strange and frightening places where darkness and despair lurk.

Each story is packed with subtle clues and life lessons.

Photo By MrPanyGoff
Photo By MrPanyGoff | Source

In The Man Unseen, we meet a young man whose torment began early in life when tormented by schoolchildren and peers who taunted and took advantage of the special needs child. As an adult, his difficulties are multiplied when his mother passes and an unscrupulous man from the bank cheats him out of his rightful home. He’s forced to live out his days on the street in constant danger. His wisdom extends beyond his circumstance when he shares his worldly observations with the driver. “There ought to be rules for men to live by.” It comes as no surprise when he chooses an afterlife filled with generosity toward others who suffer like he did in life.

In Sister Sarah's Miracle we meet Sister Sarah, an empathetic and generous worker of miracles. Her hands-on ministry of selflessness is directed toward the less fortunate, the downtrodden and the critically ill. In the story, she visits a young girl, a cancer victim who resides in Mass General Hospital.

Sister Sarah gives of herself to the point of depleting her supply of healing power. When she meets Captain Griffin, her strength returns and she is able to continue her valuable work on this earth. The Carriage Driver and Nuelle know how to keep a secret.

Nuelle needs a good bath and a grooming
Nuelle needs a good bath and a grooming

Nuelle, the elegant and intuitive white mare and the captain operate their carriage out of Boston, but the author tells us that in stories across “all cities, towns, boroughs and villages”, others carry on the same legacy. They drive the dearly departed to their chosen destination where they can carry on in the next life. Or if they choose to wait for a brother, a spouse, a child or loved one, “there is a castle in the sky whose spires puncture heaven to accommodate them.”

Worthy tales that bear second, third and ongoing review, the reader will find themselves captivated by the depth of the subtleties and deeper meaning within. This is great reading late at night when the troubles of the world surround you in the peace and quiet of your insomnia. The stories put the mind to rest and restore a sense of calm in a world of turmoil.

The Carriage Driver Series

Includes three releases filled with a collection of short stories
Includes three releases filled with a collection of short stories

The stories have characters with whom it’s easy to relate. They are our brothers, sisters, parents, children and others whose lives encompass every aspect of what we are meant to become while on this journey called life. Their stories are “meant to make you think about the setting of our hereafter…The Carriage Driver is your liaison to the heaven of your choosing.” Don’t be fooled by the free ride. Those who climb on board have paid in advance.

As a separate bonus, the end of the book contains a short stand-alone story titled, “Walking to Goleta,” a tale of companionship, compassion, generosity, ingenuity, and a heartwarming miracle at Christmas time.

© 2016 Peg Cole

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Mike is a fantastic writer, that is for sure, Ann. Some of the stories touch my heart more deeply than others as they remind me of certain dearly departed friends and family members.

      I really appreciate your visit to this book review and thank you for your kind remarks.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      12 months ago from SW England

      I love Mike's stories. I have the first of the series and am still catching up with the rest. It's difficult to choose a favourite as I love them all and his writing is so different, so enchanting and so well written.

      Great review.

      Ann

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      22 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Mike, It's always good to see you here. I enjoyed the book so much. I'll be sharing this again.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      22 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Your recent book review led me back here. So, I thank you again for this special review.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Shauna, dear Bravewarrior. I'm so glad that you stopped in to read this review of Mike's wonderful book. Thanks so much for the kind words about the review and for taking time to comment. I know you'll enjoy having the paper copy of the book. It makes for great reading.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      That's where I sent it. aol?

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      mckbirdbks is the address

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      I sent it to your McBirds address. Is it no longer a valid address?

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Sha -No, I did not see an email from you. Now, I know you received a copy. Please enjoy as time allows.

      Hi Peg.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      Peg, this is an outstanding review! I was surprised a week or so ago by a gift in the mail from a dear friend. Guess what it was? An autographed copy of this awesome book! (Mike, I sent you an email thanking you for autographing the copy that was gifted to me. Not sure if you got it or not.)

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Dear Faith, These books are a treasure trove of hope and promise. It was an honor to write this review of the stories we've loved and enjoyed here on Hub Pages. How delightful it is to have these printed books to cherish and read. Thanks for sharing about your Mom and for taking time to write such a nice comment.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      2 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Peg,

      This is a stellar review of Mike's wonderful stories of The Carriage Driver 2! I am blessed to have received both of these fine books as gifts with a special inscription. I will cherish them forever.

      I agree with Paula, this is the best review I've ever read. Your music choice and photos are perfect and I am thrilled you shared the one where your father made a carriage ...so lovely! My mother was was a huge fan of horse-drawn carriages too.

      Sharing everywhere!

      Blessings

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      That's a beautiful recap of these stories, Martie. I like what you said, "At the end of the day all of this gives us the strength to move on with no fear in our heart." So true.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      2 years ago from South Africa

      Dear Peg, this series of Michael Friedman surely provides happiness and hope. Even though it is fiction, it activates happy hormones that kill our fear of what we don't know and can't comprehend. We may dream, we may fantasize, and at the end of the day all of this give us the strength to move on with no fear in our heart.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for visiting "the other side" :) much appreciated Peg.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thanks so much, Jodah. I was just over at your other site reading about your efforts and checking things out. Bravo to you on providing a place where creativity can be showcased proudly. I'll be back to visit again soon.

      Thanks also for the kind remarks about Mike's terrific book.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a wonderful review, Peg. Mike is certainly one of my favourite writers and the Carriage Driver stories can't be surpassed. Thank you for sharing this and accompanying it with some beautiful songs. Well done.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Shyron, the name Ruby is very dear to me. It was the name of my husband's sister who passed away at forty years old, so I enjoyed the poem and the memory very much.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Peg for the beautiful tribute. Sorry I accidentally called you Ruby, I guess Ruby was on my mind, but I sincerely meant what I said this is fantastic.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Shyron, thank you for the lovely poem. You are so gifted and talented with prose. I appreciate your visit. Thanks for sharing this.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      MsDora, yes, comfort, hope and reward for a life well led. Thank you so much for your visit and kind words.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Flourish, So nice to have you drop by and read this review. Thank you.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Happyboomernurse, hello! Long time since I've seen you here. Thanks so much for the visit. I totally agree. Mike is a gifted writer who spreads a veil of hope with his imaginative stories.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      Ruby, Ruby my gem of a friend

      You have showcased Mike's work

      Of the Carriage Driver from beginning to end

      For all who are hopeful that in heaven they'll blend

      To remind all who are steadfast and true

      But still need reminding it takes you

      Ruby my gem of a friend to all other Hubbers I'll hit share

      And to all this wonderful hub I will send.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      What a great job you and Michael Friedman have done in lessening the sense of sadness with views of comfort, hope and reward. Great topic and also a great review!

    • profile image

      Happyboomernurse 

      2 years ago

      Hi Peg,

      I enjoyed this review of Michael Friedman's latest book and the first Carriage Driver anthology. He is a truly gifted author and I love the theme of these books and the way he puts a fresh and tender take on the other-worldly transition of those who step into the carriage.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello - I want to thank everyone for stopping by Peg's review and of course all your kindness is appreciated.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Mar, Thanks so much for the visit. Reading these stories on paper gave them a whole new life. I still cling to printed books although my eBook reader is getting more of a workout these days. I have several of yours on there along with a selection of books by our mutual friends.

      I always think of your reaction when I choose a music video to include. We seem to associate certain things, times and memories to specific songs. I do hope you like these.

      Isn't it strange that my dad had a fondness for carriages to the extent that he made several wooden models and I'm fortunate to own four of them. His craftsmanship with wood was something I always admired about him - including the summer I turned 16 and we built a family room, he and I, complete with tongue and groove paneling for interior walls. It was the summer I learned to operate the radial arm saw. Speaking of craftsmanship, Mike's stories just keep getting better and better. I loved this book and rereading it was a total pleasure.

      Thanks so much for the kind words. Hugs to you.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Paula, Well, speaking of being bowled over, wow, I am certainly taken over by your amazing comment. I've read your book reviews and have felt humbled by your talent. Thank you for the kind words of encouragement.

      You've singled out what I think is key to these stories as well They give us "an intimate look inside ourselves" to see if we are heading in the right direction and perhaps inspire a course correction, if we're not.

      I feel truly blessed to have friends like you and so many others (precious and flawed) whom I hesitate to name for fear of leaving anyone out. Although we've never met, I hope one day we will find each other in our version of the other side.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Suzettenapkes, it's so good to see you here. I think you're right about this being the best stories yet. Hoping the next book will be coming out soon.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Bill, I agree that with each story Mike's talent grows exponentially. He definitely deserves the expert status. What a treat to be surrounded with quality writers like you, Mike and so many others here.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      We could all use well written and uplifting stories. Thank you for the recommendation.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      What a treat to read this review, dear Peg... which makes me want to read The Carriage Driver 2 again.

      You selected some amazing songs to accompany - will be back several times to enjoy them all.

      I love the beautiful connection the horse - drawn carriage has for you and Mike as well - very touching.

      Wishing you both a peaceful evening. Hugs, Maria

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Mike, it was my pleasure to read these tales and to recap the depth of the message they conveyed. I hope I did it justice in the telling.Thank you for noticing that my Dad made the carriage and its significance in our bond as friends. You are free to use the bird-free photo of the weathervane and any others that I have taken. I appreciate you kindness and generosity in sharing your talents. All the best, Peg.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Peg....First, this review is outstanding, "perfection." You put it all together like an expert~~the words, music, images~sincerely, Peg, I am bowled over. Never read a better review. I bow to your talent.

      This fabulous review is matched only by the book itself and spectacular author, Michael Friedman. OUR very own "Mike." I am so proud of Mike and you, Bill, Linda, Maria and every one of our writers who have gone the distance to share with the world, a unique gift.

      I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of The Carriage Driver 2. It reads smoothly and gently enough to call a reader back, to read again and again. Hmm, "smooth & gentle"...like Mike. I do believe that may just be a secret to the soul of every great writer?

      The depth, humanness and inspiration within the pages of this book, creates an intimate look inside ourselves and more importantly, into every person, here or gone, precious or flawed, who have touched our lives in some extraordinary way.

      Bravo Mike. Bravo Peg. You are both two of those people in my life.

      Love & Peace, Paula

    • profile image

      suzettenapkes 

      2 years ago

      Beautiful review of Mike's work. His stories are so inspirational and I think this is his best writing ever.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I own it, I've read it, I agree! Mike is rapidly climbing the ladder to "expert" status. He passed craftsman a long time ago.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg - Thank you for this. You have made the stories sound filled with hope and triumph. The picture of the weather vane, without the bird balancing is so perfect. Even the clock and the child's toy are perfect examples of what I was reaching for. Of course I will share this. I did not make the connection that your Dad made the carriage driver toy. What a connection!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)