4 out of 4 stars
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Unending desires, deceitful relationships, exploitation of medical ethos, and promiscuous religious leaders is all that makes up The Spirit of Want by William H. Coles. This fast-paced and multidimensional story is filled with flawed characters who are ready to demean each other in one way or another. But I enjoyed the genuinely presented description of each character.
Lucy, the protagonist, was least likable but her unpredictable nature made her the center of the story. Her egoistic decisions, self-adulation, and lackluster attitude towards her family continuously put her on a trajectory that often led her to turbulent waters. A.J. MacMiel was an ophthalmic surgeon and had the reputation of a philanthropist. However, his arrogant, obdurate, and self-centered spirit was the source of irritation for his family. His daughters, Lucy and Elizabeth, had strikingly different personalities. Elizabeth, a school teacher, was a bit less sharp and less attractive as compared to Lucy. But I liked her caring and discerning attitude. Lucy’s personality is a complicated one. Despite being a reputed lawyer with a complete family, her dissatisfaction as an adopted child with dark skin was annoying for her. Leaving all behind, she fell in love with a TV evangelist (Hower Bain) accused of child molesting. She fights his case and deliberately loses it for him. The priest escapes and rushes Africa. Lucy put everything on risk and follows him to Africa. Can she find solace living with him? What will be the reaction of her family? A story full of twists and turns is awaiting you.
The Spirit of Want is a character-driven story that engaged me just from the beginning due to its omniscient character description, realistic and constantly guessing storyline. There is never a dull moment in the story. The multifaceted characters, changing perspectives, and diverse rituals are the prominent features of this book. The element of hypocrisy, jealousy or greed exist in almost every character at the personal or professional level. In the whole story, Lucy appears as the root cause of all troubles; but in reality, every person connected to her has his share of hypocrisy, and they feel contented with this. For instance, A.J.’s professional dishonesty, selfishness, and domestic abuse never let him become a likable person. Another arrogant character is of Hower Bain, whose greed, lust and contumacy put his venerated status to the lowest ebb.
Nevertheless, the story is captivating but those who have read previous books of Coles (like me) would find a similar pattern in stories. At some places, the story gets a bit absurd look when Hower Bain visits Luke’s home to demand to help Lucy. Additionally, there seemed some gap when I reached the place when Lucy got in love with Hower. At least, it needed some more details there. But such short bumps didn’t disrupt the dynamics of the story.
In sum, the book is an excellent blend of romance, greed, and hypocrisy. The author dauntingly revealed the loopholes of society. I found only one instance of borderline profanity. Moreover, I noted a couple of trivial mistakes in the book. However, owing to its compelling plot, I wholeheartedly rate The Spirit of Want 4 out of 4 stars. This book would be a right up ally for the fans of fictional drama.
The Spirit of Want
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