3 out of 4 stars
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McDowell, a fictional novel written by William H. Coles follows the life of Hiram McDowell and his three children. William H. Coles is an award-winning author with a career span of over sixteen years. The book is written mostly in third person with few narratives in first person. It has about 307 pages, containing scenes set mostly in New York and Nepal.
The book opens with Hiram leaving his hiking partner for dead on a mountain in Nepal in 1981. Shortly after the death of his second wife, he marries a widower (Carole) with two children (Tasha and Cadence). Ann is from his first wife while Billie and Sophie are from his second. Subsequently, he cheats a colleague (Michael O’Leary) to become president of the International College of Surgeons. Also, he is later appointed on the President’s task force to launch healthcare initiatives for financing the uninsured. Paige Sterling is a reporter assigned by her boss to cover McDowell’s story for a television special on his accomplishments as the president of the International College of Surgeons. She accidentally discovers distressing information about Hiram’s career. Michael O’Leary is out for revenge, will Hiram be able to keep his position and save face in the society?
The book is divided into two parts of 36 pages each. The first part portrays Hiram as an arrogant, pompous, selfish and irresponsible father while the second part portrays him as a changed, slightly religious individual looking for redemption. It seemed the book was professionally edited, as I could not find any errors.
During the first few pages of McDowell, I found it really hard to connect with the main character as I was constantly bored and uninterested. I also noticed that the story had no general sense of time which made me confused at the sequence of events. Although, the author’s writing style allowed for a smooth transition of perspectives, some conversations were just confusing. Also, the excess of characters made it difficult for me to follow the story. Therefore, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.
The book portrays love, death, revenge, perseverance, betrayal, etc. Although the book is centralized on Hiram McDowell, it also included subplots about his children which were quite interesting. On the whole, William H. Cole’s McDowell is a fairly good read and I recommend it to those who love fictional books with an element of reality.
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