A Higher Calling
Pursuing Love, Faith, and Mount Everest for a Greater Purpose
Harold and Rachel Earls
WaterBrook, New York, 2020, 224 pages
Book Review published on: March 5, 2021
A Higher Calling: Pursuing Love, Faith, and Mount Everest for a Greater Purpose provides the reader personal accounts of Capt. Harold and Rachel Earls as they experience challenges of dating, of being newly married, the Army, Mount Everest, Ranger school, and their relationships with God. The authors conjointly tell of the experiences they endured while pursuing his dream of summiting Mount Everest and how their foundations in God brought them closer together.
The book is well organized as it tracks the young couple’s journey, beginning with their long-distance relationship while Harold concentrated on life at the United States Military Academy and Rachel attended college in Florida. Their story reflects on Rachel’s YouTube platform, their graduations, marriage, honeymoon, nonprofit organization, mountain quest, and the Army. What’s interesting to note is each chapter provides perspective from both authors on their daily lives, individual and shared, while also painting a picture of Harold’s tests and trials throughout his time at Ranger school and while climbing the tallest mountain in the world. Many of the stories from the book can be found on YouTube at "Earls Family Vlogs."
The title itself should give a hint as to what the overarching theme is: a relationship built on a Godly foundation. This is the most important aspect of the Earls’ lives. One central part of the book that is quite relevant to newly married military couples is highlighting the sacrifices Army spouses make. Many young military couples struggle supporting their significant others to “Be All They Can Be.” The authors are no different and offer solid solutions through communication, supporting each other, teamwork, accepting sacrifices, faith, love, and accepting God’s plan.
A point of interest from the book for veterans is the nonprofit organization the Earls founded. U.S. Expeditions and Explorations was established to raise money for the Mount Everest expedition and to bring public awareness to issues associated with posttraumatic stress disorder. The expedition team included a former Army staff sergeant who had his right leg amputated below the knee after being injured in an IED attack in Iraq.
Not a typical military book filled with guns, tanks and battles from distant lands, A Higher Calling would be better categorized under self-help, romance, or adventure. This is a book about a young Army couple starting their lives together, the many challenges they faced early on in their marriage, and how they overcame separation and hardships through faith and commitment to God. It is an inspiring story of teamwork and the Earls’ day-to-day Army life journey to which many military couples can certainly relate.
Book Review written by: Kirby A. Hanson, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas