4 out of 4 stars
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The Spirit of Want, by William H. Coles, follows the MacMiel family. Set in Atlanta, A. J. MacMiel, a respected surgeon and his wife Agnes, have two daughters Lucy and Elizabeth. Lucy adopted at birth is stunningly beautiful. She marries a dedicated surgeon Luke Osbourne who works with her Father. Luke adores Lucy, although at times he is unsure of her sincerity. They have a daughter Jennifer. Lucy, an ambitious lawyer not being maternal, insists on a nanny to bring up their child.
Lucy falls in love with Reverend Hower Bain, a client she is defending for infantile rape. A powerful egotistical man, who profits from televised sermons that claim to heal the sick. Abandoning her family, she goes to Ghana to be with her lover. Lucy senses undercurrents of hostility towards her by his staff. Is she the only woman in Hower’s life?
Fleeing back to Atlanta, she is met with a cold reception by her family, they have placed a protection order against her seeing Jennifer. Disbarred as a lawyer, her only option is to take up a position she is offered in California as a paralegal, and attempt to start her life over.
The author makes the many characters in this story realistic and believable, their different personalities playing a major role in the plot. In particular, the characters of the MacMiel family are memorable. The domineering father and husband A. J. MacMiel, who gives little respect to his daughters or his wife Agnes. His ethics and ability in question, he tramples over colleagues to secure his reputation. Lucy MacMiel, driven by ambition, she is selfish and manipulative. She seems oblivious to how this affects others, or how it contributes to her downfall. In stark contrast, Elizabeth MacMiel, a kind and considerate woman who dedicates herself to teaching children and writing books, but who seems to live life in the shadow of her sister.
This fast-paced plot, kept me enthralled, as I followed the protagonist on a journey of forgiveness and love. While romance plays a big part in the story, this is portrayed by the author’s clever use of feelings within his characters, rather than explicit sex scenes. I felt drawn to Lucy, even though at times I was exasperated by her decisions, which I felt were prompted by the powerful men in her life. Tragedy and misfortune seem to plague the MacMiel family, the outcomes leaving you teetering with anticipation as the drama unfolds. The ending is clever and completely unpredictable.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, unable to put it down until the end. Very well written, I found only a couple of typographical errors. I rate the novel 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to fans of romance drama fiction.
The Spirit of Want
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