3 out of 4 stars
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Frank Barry, as an editor of a Sunday news magazine for a major metropolitan newspaper, has a job of assigning articles to reporters. And as such, he summoned John Kelly to his office. This particular article was about Senator Joe J. a big liberal back in the day, who had a lot of connections. He was an early pro-choice, pro-gay rights champion but resigned about ten years ago from the senate due to a big scandal he went through, but now people view him as a hero and saint. Unfortunately, he is now dying in an upstate hospital. As John is going on about his work, he discovers other facts about Joe. For example, the old politician was in a more critical condition than John had imagined, that is to say, Joe had lost much weight and was clearly close to death. But something else caught the corner of John's eye. An old nun was kneeling in the corner of the room slowly praying in a soft voice.
Each of the events is not given a definite date, that is to say, the day, month and year in numbers or words being mentioned at the same time one after the other in the same paragraph or sentence, but in some instances a day or month is stated singly, for example, ...to visit him on a Thursday afternoon in January..., et cetera. The author also talks to us about the length of time within which certain happenings took place, for example, ...two years behind him thanks..., et cetera. The periods are mentioned as well such as morning, afternoon, et cetera. The physical setup of the environment where every scene took place is greatly emphasized by the author. The traits, physique and physiognomy, especially those of Frank and John, are well discussed. The plot is interesting but its sense of delight increases as one keeps on reading this story. Given the fact that I only noticed a few mistakes, I must say that a great deal of effort was geared towards editing. Hence, I rate the story of this book, The Narrow Gate by John Servant, 3 out of 4 stars.
The author is keen on letting us know why each character behaves in a particular way, for example, smoking and drinking by Frank are due to the fact that he seems to have found a sense of consolation in them. John not living up to the demands of his earlier achievement partly contributes to Frank's behaviours towards him, I think. John, having won a prize, thinks that he should be treated in a certain way, or there are certain assignments he must or must not execute. Though in a vegetative state, and with doubts and questions about his reputation, Senator Joe had lived up to his expectations. This is partially explained by the presence of the old nun who is currently praying for him, while overlooking all of his mistakes and readily defending him. I did not like Frank's smoking and drinking habits but I loved his character. Because of Frank's character, John got himself a good article assignment. I also loved the nun's words because they helped John understand that he was in no place to pass judgement on others. John's calmness in handling aggravating situations and ready to learn character are a thing of beauty as well.
As I was reading the storyline of this book, I was also coming to a number of conclusions. This was in regard to every character, their traits and how each has been leading his or her life as per the information relayed to us by the author. Frank is a man who loves both his family and job but there maybe some inconsistencies going on in his personal life. These inconsistencies contribute to how he behaves. These are behaviours which he has just taken on recently. This showed me that everything taking place in any given person's life has a root cause. John, a senior reporter, always puts all of his efforts into a news story when it is captivating, insightful and laced with a great deal of moral lessons. Henceforth I ought to be enthusiastic about everything I choose to do. Sister Francis, the old nun and a friend of the senator, seems to be Joe's trusted confidant. Standing by those who need our help, especially when they are our close friends, while not passing judgement on them, is a trait that I learnt about the nun. The senator who turned from being an associate into a reputable prosecutor was a pawn used by the local political party in Buffalo to get to glory land. With that taken into consideration, I learnt that one should not always be too trusting in others, even though they seem to be inviting success to one's life , because one is not always in the know of their true intentions. In my opinion, The Narrow Gate is a small opening that leads to what one yearns for despite the results, for example, that of Senator Joe was in becoming a prosecutor, the nun's prayers bringing about the senator's personal salvation, et cetera.
I recommend this tale to persons who love stories laced around journalism and law studies. This is because there are tips on how one can go about one's life with the aim of avoiding a number of mishaps that may come one's way, especially if one is pursuing a career in one of those fields, and those who love reading in general.
The Narrow Gate
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