4 out of 4 stars
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William H. Coles engages his readers fully within the first few pages of Guardian of Deceit. A complex story line demonstrates things like what a family is and what it means to be a part of a family, how reality differs from what one expects, and exploring what's important in life overall. Coles lets you delve into a story that brings out both the worst and the best in people.
Our protagonist is Darwin, a teenager who has been orphaned for several years. At the start of the book, he is sent to live with his Uncle Luther, a famous football player known just as much for bad behavior in his personal life as he is for his skills on the field. Such behavior is along the lines of what many people post on social media when sharing disgust with certain celebrities' actions. Darwin finds himself taken in by the household help and Granny rather than by Luther. Luther finds Darwin to be an inconvenience at first, someone that he needs to find a way to deal with, which he does in ways that would shock most sensible people.
Darwin learns that sometimes the people you meet in unexpected places can have a great impact on your life. Darwin meets Dr. Malverne on the plane, as he heads to Luther’s to live. Doc was Darwin’s mentor throughout high school and well into adulthood. Doc and his family eventually become integral to Darwin’s future in many different ways, both good and bad.
Others are met in ways that are more predictable. Luther’s wife, Sweeney, is a famous music artist. She and Darwin have an interesting, dependency-based relationship that often makes one wonder why anyone would ever want to live the life of the rich and famous. Mrs. Thomas, Luther’s house manager, is the one that keeps everything together for everyone else until tragedy hits her in the worst way imaginable.
This is not a rags to riches story, as Darwin was born to wealthy parents. Rather, it is a story of a boy, as he grows into a man while facing intense situations that most of us cannot imagine, trying to survive in a world he did not expect to live in. Darwin has to figure out who to trust, who is really there for him and who is not. Life is not always as it seems. Relationships are complex. Despite seeing good examples of love when he was younger, he sees poor examples as he grows up. This heavily influences his relationships with women.
Guardian of Deceit spans approximately 15-18 years. The way many of the relationships develop into stronger friendships, as well as relationships that pertain more to romance, feels very authentic. Often in fiction, people become best friends right away or lovers that head to the altar within weeks. That is not how most relationships work. This story is more realistic, with the stronger bonds taking years to develop to that strength. Such strength is what helps them get through the tragedies that strike. Coles does a good job showing that people can grow, even when the obstacles seem too much or their hearts are too hard.
I tried hard to find weaknesses in this story, but I simply could not find any to share. The editing is excellent; there are no issues with grammar, spelling, typos or odd wording. I rate this story 4 out of 4 stars. This story would appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. If you like to connect with your characters, like a bit of mystery or watching characters overcome insurmountable odds, you will enjoy Guardian of Deceit.
Guardian of Deceit
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