4 out of 4 stars
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That man is made or unmade by himself in the factory of his thoughts where he manufactures the weapons with which he destroys or builds mansions of joy or pain for himself is an incontrovertible truth which can best describe the tragic love story of the beautiful and egoistic Lucy MacMiel in William H. Coles' The Spirit of Want. The bitterness of her adopted status drives Lucy to act recklessly and drag Luke Osborne, her father's fellow surgeon , into testifying on her behalf on a charge of vehicular manslaughter. The compassionate Luke is attracted by her charm and marries her.
Unfortunately, Lucy could not find the kind of love she wanted with him and instead falls for a client - Hower Bain - an evangelist accused of rape. Debarred for unethical conduct, Lucy abandons her baby and family to follow her lover to Africa. There, she is poisoned by a rival for Bain's love. Returning to the US, Lucy is rejected by her family and colleagues. As she tries to sort out her jagged life, her embattled father splits their family and her estranged baby dies.
Amidst her grief, Hower Bain resurfaces.. Lucy gladly resettles with him only to find that the poison had damaged her kidney. Most distressing of all, she found that the lover for whom she had given her life was a scam - a hypocritical and crooked philander. Devoid of hope and love Lucy hastens her death.
The Spirit of Want is undoubtedly the most interesting novel by William H. Coles.This book which is a thrilling marriage of ethical and emotional narration takes the romance genre to a new level. Unlike traditional love stories that are filled with tender loving and care, intimate affection and erotic magnetism, we find here emotions that are sometimes like fiery lava, at others like tepid stagnant pools and still at others like tiny rocks on a barren plain. The love play seems lustful, infatuated, awkward and unprepared.
The book brings out the author's fondness for moral righteousness. Like a sermon on fairness, justice and compassion, the book makes it evident that there is no peace for the wicked and selfish individuall or dishonest fellow and that love should not necessarily be blind or based on one's libido. The author's precise descriptions of medical procedures and use of appropriate terminologies leaves no one in doubt of his professional background.
His interpretation of the skepticism, incredulity and wonder that one gets at Pentecostal assemblies is commendable. In fact, this superbly edited book is one of my favourite novels. There is not much room for criticism of it except perhaps for the author's unimpressive interpretation of the evolutionary theory. I shall therefore not hesitate to recommend this book to all lovers of rational and morally uplifting stories.Consequently, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
The Spirit of Want
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