Forum Navigation: Forum Index » Books and Reading » Reviews and Discussions about Specific Books and Series » Other Fiction Forum

Want FREE books and FREE Amazon gift cards?

Each day we announce via email a book that is either FREE or on a temporary sale at a great discount price. These are not your average free books. These are incredible insider deals on well-rated books. OnlineBookClub.org is where tomorrow's bestsellers are born. We also give away over $1,000 per month of free Amazon gift cards in free daily giveaways, exclusively to those signed up to these announcements! Hurry, sign up free now:

Sorry, this proves you are human.

Official Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fiction books or series that do not fit into one of the other categories. If the fiction book fits into one the other categories, please use that category instead.

Official Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post Number:#1 by CatInTheHat
» 29 Jul 2017, 16:35

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "McDowell" by William H. Coles.]

Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Review by CatInTheHat
Share This Review

William H. Coles’s McDowell is ripe with just about every emotion known to man. I laughed, I cried, I was filled with anger; I saw love and hate (sometimes at the same time), and much more as I read the story of Hiram McDowell.

McDowell is a story that, at its core, is about guilt and redemption. Hiram McDowell is a surgeon who, at various points in his life ran a medical foundation in Nepal, led the International College of Surgeons, and was nominated to be the United States Secretary of Health. Hiram is married to Carole; after being widowed, they create a blended family with their children. Their relationships are rife with conflict almost from the beginning. Hiram spends quite a bit of time in Nepal, climbing peaks and working with the foundation. The more time he spends away from home, the better it is for all of them. Hiram’s adult children are involved in his life in interesting ways. Sophie is a photographer whose work involves Hiram’s life issues more as time goes on. Ann and her family become pivotal in Hiram’s future as tragedy, as well as his decisions, affect them all in permanent, life-changing ways. When youngest, Billie, reaches adulthood, he is also involved in dad’s life through work and a complex family issue.

The first part of the story focuses on Hiram’s quest for money and power. He makes many enemies, alienates friends and co-workers, and shows care for his children in unorthodox ways. The second part of the story focuses on the dreadful consequences of his past choices. Hiram finds himself on a completely new path, often alone, but also having different kinds of people in his life. He wants the world to know the truth about him, while he is changing in surprising ways.

Is it possible to find redemption when one is guilty of terrible things? Can one find love again? For any of these things to happen, a person has to really recognize and accept that what one did was terrible. For the protagonist in this story, that was a difficult concept, despite the external consequences that forever changed his life. Meeting new people who do not know your past can sometimes help one to see something different from what they have had before. For Hiram, these new encounters and relationships do make him think about what is important to him. Internalizing and processing what has happened and what changes are coming is still very difficult. At points, I wondered if narcissism was an issue for Hiram, but some actions make me question that thought. It is possible for some people that they will always have lives based on the past, no matter what their current conditions are, which readers may find interesting with some of the other characters in this story as well.

This fictional tale will have you question what a human is capable of doing when life does not turn out as one expected it to do. The impact of people’s choices on their relationships really draws the reader into the story. Seeing how Hiram’s children react, all in very different ways, to each other and to the world, makes you wonder how real life people deal with tragedy. The victims are not only the obvious ones. Coles has the ability to make you feel through his words, providing connection to the characters, almost making it possible to feel for them even when they commit immoral acts.

McDowell is professionally edited, with no noted grammar mistakes. The one concrete weakness was that it was not always possible to figure out how much time had passed between scenarios. This did lead to occasional confusion.

This story will appeal to a variety of readers but most especially those who love crime and mystery stories, or the study of human nature through fiction. If you enjoy not being able to guess how a story is going to end until you are at the end, you will love McDowell. Although not completely devoid of strong language, it is minimal. There a few mild sexual scenes help make the story seem more realistic. For all of these reasons, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It would make a great in-person book club “read”.

******
McDowell
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like CatInTheHat's review? Post a comment saying so!
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.

Grateful to get the opportunity to explore new books with those in the OBC.
CatInTheHat's Latest Review: "Guardian of Deceit" by William H. Coles
User avatar
CatInTheHat
Member of the Month
 
Posts: 816
Joined: 31 May 2016, 11:53
Currently Reading: Split Second
Bookshelf Size: 411 books

View Reviewer Page
2017 Reading Goal: 52 Books
Goal Completion: 65%

Did you know?
 
Once you join the forums and log in you will get to enjoy a very ad-reduced experience. It's easy and completely free!

Re: Official Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post Number:#2 by bookowlie
» 03 Aug 2017, 08:47

Great, thorough review! I loved your opening line, that the book is "rife with just about every emotion known to man." The book sounds jam-packed with interesting content.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing
bookowlie's Latest Review: "Ex-Rich Girl Tells All" by Kami Corban
User avatar
bookowlie
Special Discussion Leader
 
Posts: 6090
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
Favorite Book: The Lost Continent
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 237 books

View Reviewer Page
2017 Reading Goal: 52 Books
Goal Completion: 59%

Re: Official Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post Number:#3 by kandscreeley
» 03 Aug 2017, 09:57

I saw this one when it was book of the day. It was intriguing then, and your review makes it sound even better. It's one I'll have to try. Thanks for a good review.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway
User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
 
Posts: 2149
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
Currently Reading: Luna
Bookshelf Size: 88 books

View Reviewer Page
2017 Reading Goal: 100 Books
Goal Completion: 71%

Re: Official Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post Number:#4 by raikyuu
» 04 Aug 2017, 06:31

Interesting review. Seems like my type of book. It's wonderful to see authors who create realistic characters with flaws that one can relate to.
What should I do with my life?

"You don't have to do anything."
User avatar
raikyuu
 
Posts: 209
Joined: 28 Jun 2017, 21:19
Favorite Book: The Republic
Currently Reading: A History of Western Philosophy
Bookshelf Size: 38 books

View Reviewer Page
2017 Reading Goal: 30 Books
Goal Completion: 103%

Re: Official Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post Number:#5 by CatInTheHat
» 04 Aug 2017, 07:56

bookowlie wrote:Great, thorough review! I loved your opening line, that the book is "rife with just about every emotion known to man." The book sounds jam-packed with interesting content.


This one definitely falls among my list of favorites that I've reviewed.

-- 05 Aug 2017, 10:08 --

raikyuu wrote:Interesting review. Seems like my type of book. It's wonderful to see authors who create realistic characters with flaws that one can relate to.


Coles did a great job with his character portrayal. There were many times where I thought "I could see myself reacting like that".
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.

Grateful to get the opportunity to explore new books with those in the OBC.
CatInTheHat's Latest Review: "Guardian of Deceit" by William H. Coles
User avatar
CatInTheHat
Member of the Month
 
Posts: 816
Joined: 31 May 2016, 11:53
Currently Reading: Split Second
Bookshelf Size: 411 books

View Reviewer Page
2017 Reading Goal: 52 Books
Goal Completion: 65%

Re: Official Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post Number:#6 by SpiderDreamer1
» 08 Aug 2017, 07:37

This does sound pretty interesting. I always like reading about flawed protagonists who can grow and change. How good is the pacing? It sounds like it spends a lot of time at the beginning and then the middle of his journey.
User avatar
SpiderDreamer1
 
Posts: 26
Joined: 05 Jul 2016, 11:15
Bookshelf Size: 0 books
2017 Reading Goal: 0 Books

Re: Official Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post Number:#7 by CatInTheHat
» 08 Aug 2017, 08:17

SpiderDreamer1 wrote:This does sound pretty interesting. I always like reading about flawed protagonists who can grow and change. How good is the pacing? It sounds like it spends a lot of time at the beginning and then the middle of his journey.


The pacing is pretty good. There are two distinct halves. I'd say that the second part really covers the "middle" through the "end". Both halves cover several years.
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.

Grateful to get the opportunity to explore new books with those in the OBC.
CatInTheHat's Latest Review: "Guardian of Deceit" by William H. Coles
User avatar
CatInTheHat
Member of the Month
 
Posts: 816
Joined: 31 May 2016, 11:53
Currently Reading: Split Second
Bookshelf Size: 411 books

View Reviewer Page
2017 Reading Goal: 52 Books
Goal Completion: 65%

Re: Official Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post Number:#8 by Jazz14
» 12 Aug 2017, 17:57

Well written review and It really makes me wanna read it!
Jazz14's Latest Review: "Escape" by Belle Ami
User avatar
Jazz14
 
Posts: 24
Joined: 03 Jul 2017, 11:08
Currently Reading: Heart of Darkness
Bookshelf Size: 12 books

View Reviewer Page
2017 Reading Goal: 0 Books
Goal Completion: 0%


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: derekkirima and 8 guests

Navigation

Return Home » Books and Reading » Reviews and Discussions about Specific Books and Series » Other Fiction Forum