3 out of 4 stars
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The Spirit of Want, by William H. Coles, is an exciting page-turner. It revolves around a woman named Lucy. She’s married to a man named Luke, who works with Lucy’s father. Together, they have a daughter named Jennifer. Lucy’s sister, Elizabeth, and mother, Agnes, round out the family. Their stories are all intertwined with Lucy’s. As a lawyer, Lucy is tasked with defending Hower Bain, an evangelist accused of having sex with a minor. Lucy’s interactions with Hower lead her down a twisted path.
One of the things I liked most about the book was how fast-paced it was. I never got bored reading it. The book is divided into three sections. The beginning introduces the reader to all the main characters and basically shows Lucy’s life before Hower Bain and at the start of her time with him. The second part involves time Lucy spent in Ghana and in the third part, Lucy helps with a political campaign. The story was constantly changing. Just when things seemed like they were calming down, something unexpected happened. I actually said “oh my gosh” out loud at a few different points. Coles includes many subjects in this book including love, hate, murder, rape, medical malpractice, death, alcoholism, and tough family dynamics. The story kept me engaged the entire time.
Another great part of this book was the character development. Every central character was different at the end of the book than they were at the beginning. For example, Lucy’s sister Elizabeth was a pushover at the beginning of the book. By the end, she had developed into a strong, confident woman. Lucy constantly changed throughout the book. I hated her one second and loved her the next. She was a selfish jerk one minute and a loving mother the next. Coles did an amazing job developing her character.
Content and story-wise, there was nothing I disliked about this book. However, I did find a significant number of errors in it. There were a few grammar errors, but most were formatting errors. There were multiple places where a new person was talking, but their dialogue wasn’t a new line. This made it a tad confusing to keep track of who was talking. But it didn’t detract from the overall story.
This book is written for an adult audience. It includes some foul language and a few sex scenes. It also deals with mature topics such as rape and death. So children and most teens shouldn’t read this. Adults who love a fast-paced story that keeps you guessing would love it.
I struggled immensely with what to rate this book. In the end, I had to rate The Spirit of Want 3 out of 4 stars. I felt like I couldn’t give it a 4 due to the errors I found. I would give it a 3.9 if it were allowed! I definitely wouldn’t give it any lower than a 3 though based on the intricate storyline and fascinating characters.
I absolutely loved reading The Spirit of Want. I read the first 100 pages in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down! I’m a huge fan of William H. Coles and his writing style. His ability to weave multiple stories together is impressive. I highly recommend this book to others!
The Spirit of Want
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