3 out of 4 stars
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The Spirit of Want, by master storyteller William H.Coles, is an intriguing story that brings out a brutal surreal story of a surgeons family; his two dissimilar daughters, and raises the gritty subject on religion, law, love, and family.
The book begins with Luke Osbourne going to a thanks giving party, in which his friend and mentor A.J Macmiel invited him. It's this night that he meets Lucy the protagonist, and her sister Elizabeth. At first he's struck by Lucy's beauty but is later turned off by her arrogance. He opts to talk to Elizabeth, who is more likable. In a series of events, he's forced to drive back home with Lucy, who is to give him a ride home. Lucy drunk and driving recklessly, crushes onto a woman and causes an accident. It is at this point that she's forced to marry Luke, in order to neutralize him as a witness for his vehicular murder case. She forced herself into loving and marrying him, which eventually caused her a lot.
The book portrays Lucy as selfish, self centered, and promiscuous. Despite of the love, care, and affection given to her by her family, Lucy still chose wrong decisions. Her insecurities on being adopted , black, and the 'family's black sheep,' made her treat people horribly. Elizabeth on the other hand was much kinder, and although she envied her sister's beauty and brains at times, she comes off as a likable character. Who even risks her life for her sister. Lucy's selfish choices makes her leave her only daughter, Jeniffer, husband, and family for a controversial Evangelist who happens to be her downfall. And when she decides to amend her life, it's too late for her.
William H. Coles is a born storyteller, in all the three parts his large cast doesn't feel faceless. This is because, he carefully brings out each character's traits. There's a well crafted relationship between characters and there's a seeding out of important issues affecting society such as, fake religion, law and religion- which actually caught my attention, love and selflessness.
The writing style is very entertaining, with dialogues and narrations seamlessly placed throughout the novel. I was never bored. However, there were a few typos in the book. By the end of the book I felt invested in the characters, and drawn to sympathize on Lucy. I came to partially understand her insecurities and self sabotage. I linked it to the hostile upbringing she was brought up with, with her tough dad, and the hostility of those around her due to her mistakes. The book was a real mind opener, and the issue on how law was used to protect religious malpractice was really interesting.
I wholeheartedly rate The Spirit of Want 3 out of 4 stars. The book might not be appropriate to kids in parts where there were sex scenes, nevertheless, the book is an insightful read. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a great adventurous read.
The Spirit of Want
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